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GPs to receive 2% pay rise

The 2018/19 rise for GPs will be backdated to April

Ingrid Torjesen

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

GP contractors in England will receive a 2% pay rise for 2018/19 backdated to April, the government has announced. The rise includes the 1% pay rise already agreed as part of the contract negotiations.

Minimum and maximum pay scales for salaried GPs will also be uplifted by 2%, and the GP trainer grant and GP appraiser fees will be increased by 3%, but not until 1 October.

The government wants NHS England to take a multi-year approach to the GP contract negotiations with investment in primary care linked to improvements in primary care services. An additional 1% could be available from 2019/20, conditional on contract reform, on top of any funding increase negotiated as part of the contract.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said in a written statement that from 1 April 2019 there is “the potential for up to an additional 1%, on top of the 2% already paid to be added to the baseline, to be paid from 2019/20 conditional on contract reform, through a multi-year agreement from 2019/20.

“This would be in addition to the funding envelope for the contract negotiation for 2019/20 onwards. This would be reflected in respect of GP remuneration, practice staff expenses and the recommended minimum and maximum pay scales for salaried GPs.”

The government's pay announcement is lower than that recommended by the DDRB report*, which was published alongside the written statement. It recommended “for independent contractor general medical practitioners an additional increase in pay, net of expenses, of 2% above our minimum pay recommendation” of 2%.

Richard Vautrey, chair of the BMAs GP committee, said: “It is deeply concerning that the government has chosen not to honour the findings of its own independent pay review body across the entire NHS, but specifically for GPs. The nation's beleaguered family doctors and their hard-working staff should be receiving at the very least, a 4% pay rise, as recommended by the pay review body, simply to keep services for patients running.

“For a decade GPs have seen their real terms pay cut by over 20%, resulting in many GPs leaving the profession and doctors not wanting to become GPs. For the new secretary of state to commit, only last week, to addressing the workforce crisis in general practice and raise hopes of investment in primary care, to now dash those hopes, will signal to dedicated GPs and their staff that they are not valued.”

The rise applies only to GPs in England. GPs in Wales received an interim 1% uplift from April under their contract deal which would be reviewed following the DDRB recommendations. GPs in Scotland could receive a pay rise if the Scottish government backs the recommendations, and any pay rise for GPs in Northern Ireland will be announced later in the year.

*Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration: Forty-Sixth Report 2018, July 2018.

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