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GPs given meagre 0.2% income rise this year

By Steve Nowottny

GPs will receive an average increase of just 0.2% in practice funding this year, it was announced today.

They will have to provide extra services to earn the remaining 1.3% promised to general practice by the Government as part of this year's contract deal.

The Department of Health has accepted in full the recommendations of the Doctors and Dentists Pay Review Body, which called for a 2.7% increase in the global sum, but no increase in MPIG funding.

Ministers said this would mean that GP practices would see on average a 0.2% increase in payments – allowing most of the investment promised this year to be spent on new services.

This means that most of the £105m additional investment pledged by the Government – equivalent to 1.5% of general practice funding - will now be split three ways.

- Approximately £14 m – 0.2% - will be provided as additional investment in general practice.

- £50m will be invested in clinical areas, the detail of which has yet to be announced.

- Approximately £41m will be used to improve patient services and access – which could mean additional extended hours, or more premises funding.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said:‘We want to make sure that GPs work reasonable hours and are fairly rewarded but this must be matched by further improvements in patient services and access.

‘This why we're honouring our commitment to increasing investment in GP services by 1.5%, which is equal to £105 million. Most of this investment will now go into improving the range and quality of services offered by GP practices and into further improving patient experience, for instance by expanding services provided at weekends or evenings, or by making physical improvements to surgeries.'

‘Promoting health, tackling health inequalities and improving patient access are all priorities for us, and we will work closely with the British Medical Association to assess the areas of greatest need.'

BMA chair, Dr Hamish Meldrum, said: 'Some GPs will receive a small increase in the resources necessary to run their practices, but many will receive nothing at all. After two years of zero awards, this is a further slap in the face for GPs and a further significant erosion of the deal the Government agreed to just four years ago.'

Alan Johnson: has given GPs 0.2% increase Alan Johnson: has given GPs 0.2% increase Coins

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