GPC wins right to fight for pay
The GPC has won its fight to separate pay talks from negotiations over the GP contract.NHS Employers confirmed negotiators could approach the pay review body with evidence supporting an uplift to the global sum, rather than having to thrash out an agreement with the Department of Health.GPC negotiators last week said attempts to link inflationary pay increases to contractual changes amounted to an annual renegotiation of the contract (Pulse, 26 April).But Chris Dowse, NHS Employers head of primary care contracting, told Pulse: 'The GPC is free to approach the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body to ask them to consider an uplift for GP income but that will not replace negotiations about the rest of the GMS contract.'Ms Dowse said there would still need to be negotiations over investment of new funds, how efficiencies were applied and the detail of enhanced services.She said the department had made clear all GMS contract negotiations would be led by NHS Employers, adding: 'We hope to continue discussions on the future of the GMS contract under a new mandate.'Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, said the GPC would be happy to negotiate changes to the contract with the department, but attempts to link any inflationary pay rise to discussions about contract developments were 'not helpful, useful or productive'.Dr Meldrum said: 'At least NHS Employers is suggesting the DDRB has a role, which it wasn't suggesting before. I'm not going to start dancing from the rooftops but at least it's a step in the right direction.'