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Independents' Day

GP earnings drop for seventh year in a row

Official figures reveal that GPs’ annual earnings have fallen by almost a quarter in seven years, finds Joe Davis

Pre-tax GP income fell to an average of £102,000 in 2012/13 due to soaring expenses levels, the latest official NHS figures show. Earnings dropped by 0.9% compared with 2011/12 – the seventh consecutive annual fall when inflation is taken into account.

Average GP partner income before tax peaked at £129,994 in the UK after the introduction of the 2004 contract, but has since declined by almost 22% in real terms.

The GPC said the figures demonstrated continuing ‘inadequate investment’ in general practice, with rising expenses swallowing up GP funding.

GP earnings graphic-online

The figures, published last month by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, are the most up-to-date record of gross earnings before pension contributions are deducted.

In the GP funding deal for 2012/13, NHS Employers said GP funding in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should be uplifted by 0.5% to help meet increased practice expenses and to ‘put a strong emphasis on improved patient care’.

But the HSCIC figures show income dropped while expenses rose by 2.9%, with the expenses-to-earnings ratio rising by 0.9 percentage points to 62.5%.

English GP partners earned the most at £105,100 before tax, compared with £88,800 in Scotland, £91,000 in Wales and £92,200 in Northern Ireland.

Salaried GP pay was not hit as hard, with average income before tax decreasing by 0.6% between 2011/12 and 2012/13, from £56,800 to £56,400.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the figures showed GPs had been ‘singularly disadvantaged’ when considered alongside other comparative NHS healthcare staff.

He said: ‘This highlights the Government’s continued inadequate investment in general practice, which is not keeping up with the rising expenses of running a GP practice to meet the increasing volumes of care GPs provide.’


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Readers' comments (12)

  • other healthcare 'professional'??!! 3.56pm - GP Partners are independent contractors to the NHS i.e. work with the public sector NOT for it. I do not know many state teachers who own their school nor pay all the other staff within the school out of their own salary. But please if you have examples, pray do tell?
    Otherwise I suspect a better comparison than yours would be 'professional' footballer on £102/wk for kicking a leather spherical object for 90 minute maybe once or twice a week against the dedicated community business building and owning health and social care providing jack of all trades; society's safety net for any of life's ills or personal dysfunctions- physical, psychological, spiritual, real or unreal. for £102/yr.
    So do not compare GP Partners pay to public sector work because it is not COMPARABLE!! By all means create a salaried GP workforce to work in the NHS, then you will be right in knowing what your talking about, though given the probably the disparity in the of overall service provision compared with what a typical GP Partnership currently provides I suspect pay will be the least of your concerns/moans then.

    COI- fed up with non-GPs purporting to know or understand what GPs actual do when they don't, but seem to feel free and alright to do so anyway, thus contributing very little to the current GP recruitment and retention crisis debate

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  • The 'you do quite well so pipe down' argument does not address the issues and no offence to all the above 'others' (assuming you are genuine people, if you are trolls then lots of offence) stems from ignorance about the roles of partners and the context of this article - namely the current and ever worsening workforce crisis
    I'm salaried and don't earn near the above salaries - but I appreciate being a partner comes with limitless responsibilities and workload which to my mind fully justify the salary.
    I always find it astonishing how people can judge with such certainty how much others should earn

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