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Independents' Day

BMA calls for GP pay increase to relieve workforce crisis

The BMA is asking for GPs to get more money after capping their pay award at 1% meant they took home a pay rise 60% lower than other workers.

It warned the independent Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) that a failure to address the decline in pay in 2018/19 would ‘worsen the current recruitment and retention issues’.

The BMA's evidence submission is calling for doctors to get an increase in line with the Retail Price Index, plus 2% (or £800, if that is higher).

In January the Department of Health and Social Care indicated there could be some ‘flexibility’ around the 1% pay rise for public sector workers.

However limiting pay awards to just 1% meant doctors got about 60% less than people working in the wider economy, said the BMA.

It told the DDRB’s pay review that another ‘sub-inflation uplift will mean further degradation of the perceived value of doctors’ work’.

It pointed out that doctors have suffered ‘a significant fall in real income since the start of the last recession in 2008’ with GPs hit by a 20% cut, despite increased workloads.

Doctors in a GMS or PMS practice saw a 1.2% drop in pre-tax earnings to £90,100 between 2014 and 2016. Salaried GPs saw a 2.5% drop in their pre-tax pay to £55,800 for the same period.

‘Given that over the past year pay has been capped at 1% again, we would expect the decline in real incomes to have accelerated with continued negative impact on living standards, morale and recruitment and retention,’ said the BMA.

The rising cost of expenses also outstripped the 1% proposed pay increase with practices suffering ‘inadequate compensation’ for them, the BMA pointed out.

It called for an RPI plus 2% uplift of expenses in England, with the devolved nations negotiating directly with their governments.

The sector is also in the midst of a recruitment and retention crisis, losing 918 GPs in England alone between March 2016 and September 2017, and a quarter of Scottish surgeries reporting unfilled vacancies .

However, the proposed Scottish contract ‘explicitly does not address GP pay uplifts’, said the BMA. It said the DDRB should recommend a pay uplift.

The BMA rejected the review body’s recommendation to look at the salaried GP model contract, saying it did not agree there was any confusion about it. Instead it ‘represents good employment practice’, ensuring minimum common standards for GPs.

Note: This article was updated at 10.20 on 16 February to reflect that the BMA asked for an increase in line with RPI plus 2%, rather than RPI or 2%, as was previously stated.


Readers' comments (20)

  • supposed to read total of 4.7%! so I have it wrong too

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  • I think even if they doubled the pay I would stay a locum. I mean the average salaried pay is ridiculous, although I presume includes part timers, whatever passes for part time.
    Its a joke! Don't they know who I am!? LOL

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  • Glad I cancelled my BMA membership wasted money.Bet that will go up more than this.Pathetic.

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  • Cobblers

    Who is in charge of negotiations in the BMA? As a starter for 10 put in a figure which is extreme but credible. A 2% rise is below the rate of inflation. You can hear the sniggers at the DoH that the GPs are getting a real time reduction again. Face/Palm.

    Obi 8:56 you are wrong 2% it is, NOT plus RPI. I agree that your thought should have been more like the starting point.

    Even those on 'our side' seem to kick the GPs in the teeth.

    COI This does not affect me as my pension rises according to the inflation rate in September last which, if I recall, was 3%.

    Nice that pensioners get more! Soon I'll be earning more than the workers.

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  • Great
    That 2% will really help with the bill property services now give us each year (100k from 8K) for service charges!

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  • Unsatisfactory Offer will decrease morale further leading to increasing workforce challenges! Crisis Not Averted

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  • @Cobblers, I have had another read and I think it is pretty clear that it is RPI +2%. Their submission is that GP pay should be increased by RPI + 2% AND all the other expenses should increase by a similar number. This is from their report.

    "173. We would therefore believe the following would represent an appropriate uplift for general expenses:
    - RPI plus 2 per cent for GP pay (39.9 per cent of total expenses)
    - RPI plus 2 per cent uplift for staff related expenses (43.3 percent of total expenses)
    - RPI plus 2 percent for other expenses (17.5 per cent of total expenses)
    - RPI plus 2 per cent total."

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  • Predictably utterly pitiful. The BMA long ago decided that saving the NHS was more important than saving Doctors. Why does anyone pay BMA membership?

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  • in Canada earnt £250,000 per year for a 40 hour week before taxes, my mate in middle east earning £300,000 tax free, mate in Australia on £250,000 per year plus private clinic income. to improve retention the uk needs to pay GPs between £100,000 to £300,000 a year, its what they are worth in a worldwide market. the nhs has been poaching staff from around the world for years, now its the NHS having staff leaving to work for better pay and conditions. the irony is endless.

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  • the first number on each year's calculation should be the adjustment to be made to the previous year's when an intended 1% pay rise turns out to be a 2%pay decrease. Until this is done each pay award simply compounds the underfunding of expenses.

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