GPs awarded 2.29% pay uplift
By Gareth Iacobucci
GPs have been handed a 2.29% gross pay uplift for 2009/10 after the Government accepted recommendations from the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body which are higher than NHS chiefs were calling for.
The body said it would produce an average increase in net income for most GPs of 1.5%, once taking into account increases in practice expenses.
The figure falls short of the BMA's call for a 3.5% gross uplift, but is above the 1.5% recommended by NHS employers, which the DDRB said would have produced a net uplift of zero and the The Department of Health's calls for a 1.6% pay increase, which would have led to as low as a 0.4 % net uplift for GMS GPs.
The DDRB said both would have required GPs to slash expenses still further to the bone, which it said could not be justified.
The DDRB report also poured doubt on NHS Employers' claim that GPs could expect to make up for such rises by taking on new enhanced servcies, adding it was ‘not guaranteed to all practices.'
Gill Bellord, Director of Pay, Pensions and Employment Relations at NHS Employers said: ‘We believe that the awards strike the right balance in being fair, whilst recognising both the challenging efficiency requirements that the NHS is being asked to deliver and the current economic climate'.
Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the GPC, said: 'Doctors will be disappointed that the DDRB has been so willing to go along with the general levels of pay that the Government has recommended, rather than accept our evidence on falls in GP income.
'However, we are relieved that the DDRB has finally recognised that GP partners should see the same level of net increase as all other doctors, something which has not happened in recent years. We believe this is fair and recognises the rise in costs over the last four years. However GP partners should remember that a ratio formula will be applied this year, so the increase they receive could be higher or lower than this headline figure.'GP pay uplift: partial victory for BMA negotiators GP pay uplift: partial victory for BMA negotiators