Almost 900 medical consultants in England and Wales have been awarded clinical excellence awards for 2012, it has been announced.

The Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards has approved new awards for 892 consultants in the 2012 round.

It had been delayed by the Government ahead of a report by the  Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration Review Body, which has recommended significant changes to the process and level of awards.

In total the Department of Health will spend £204.4m on CEAs in 2012-13.

New national clinical excellence awards have been given to 300 consultants in England and 17 in Wales, with 575 CEAs renewed.

Overall, 4,536 consultants currently hold clinical excellence awards, which allow doctors to earn between £2,950 and £75,000 in bonuses with the cost of awards split between local hospital trusts and the DH.

Under the proposals made by the DDRB in December, local clinical excellence awards would be awarded annually while national awards would be limited to a maximum of five years.

It also suggested awards be non-pensionable and treated as part of the consultant’s salary, with national awards capped at £40,000 and local awards at £35,000.

NHS Employers and the British Medical Association are expected to begin talks on consultant and junior doctor contracts later this year.

The Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards has yet to receive the go ahead on the 2013 round of awards.