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BMA criticises decision to cut GP trainee pay

The BMA has said that Government plans to cut the pay of GP trainees by 31% threatens to worsen the current recruitment crisis.

In its submission to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration, published on Friday, the BMA said that the plans to reduce GP trainees’ pay to match those of hospital specialty trainees amounts to ‘a considerable reduction in salary’ for GP trainees.

The submission said that the move could exacerbate recruitment problems for GP trainees, adding that the Government’s target for 50% of medical students to choose general practice is already ‘ambitious in the current climate’.

The DDRB is reviewing proposals for a new consultant and doctors in training contract, which would create a single contract for all trainee doctors, after negotiations between the BMA and the Government broke down in October. It is expected to report its conclusions to the Government in the summer.

The news comes as the latest warning over GP training numbers was issued before Christmas, when figures obtained by the GPC indicated there was only ‘one applicant for every four’ training places in the northeast of England for the August 2015 intake.

Issuing its warning over the training supplement, the BMA said: ‘This is likely to result in medical graduates continuing to predominantly opt for hospital specialty training posts, leaving general practice with the substantial recruitment and retention problems it is currently facing. About 400 GP training posts were unfilled this year.

‘For many trainees who are seriously considering general practice, this kind of relative pay cut could prove to be a huge disincentive. Those with fixed family or financial commitments could find themselves unable to pursue careers in general practice due to the financial burden of a substantially reduced salary.’

It added that ‘anything that negatively impacts on medical graduates choosing GP training could exacerbate existing workforce shortage’.

In the submission the BMA also warned against rolling out seven-day working across the NHS - a key sticking point in negotiations - for political rather than clinical reasons, and without a credible plan for how a seven-day service could be safely staffed without patient service cutbacks.

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter said: ‘The BMA has been clear in its support for better seven-day services, but the Government needs to be clear about what an expansion of services will look like and, crucially, how it can be safely staffed and resourced, without existing services being scaled back… We hope that, in its submission, the Government has provided the detail, evidence and modelling on the changes it wants to introduce, which it failed to produce throughout negotiations.

‘This includes detail on what additional services it wants to make available, how much they will cost to deliver and guarantees on what support services need to be in place to provide them safely. Without this detail, we are being asked to sign up in the dark to changes without knowing how patient care and doctors’ working lives will be affected - something the BMA cannot do.’

Readers' comments (54)

  • sorry but BMA part of problem rather than constant warnings - why not some credible plans?

    how long do we have to wait before we can start looking at alternative models?

    the RCGP have already suggested one model i.e. total salaried service - fair play that they have suggested it.

    but why do we only have a choice of the current contract vs total salaried model? why can't we debate anything else?

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  • BMA warning the government,,,,ooo how frightening, I can see those claws out and teeth bared and gnashing..... the governement is still laughing. So is BMA a joke?

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  • its clear what the govt want - to prepare future registrars for salaried job on 50k.

    The heroic BMa of course are going to stop that with a stern "warning"....

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  • So who is prepared to strike?

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  • Excellent way to let undecided doctors know how well -paid GPSTRs are. Genious ,mmmmmmmuuuuuuaaaahhhh

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  • yes interchangable doctors would be my master plan. pay the btards 40k a year and work them to the bone.
    who is going to stop me? Clarkson?

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  • Why do people keep talking about striking. Boycott the out-of-area sheme, F&FT, CQC inspections and any other hairbrained scheme that Jeremy thinks up. OK it may cost a bit of money but with a General Election coming up Jeremy is going to look even more stupid than he is and the patients will immediately get an improved service.

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  • good god. madness frankly. If i was cynical i think i might suggest that it was all a scheme to end general practice. And really, a "warning" from the BMA. That has to be about as scary as a not scary thing with a degree in how not to be scary from fright university (to misquote blackadder). We are all doomed to either work for tesco. But obviously i am not cynical...........

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  • Can anyone tell me why GP trainees should be paid 31% more than their hospital equivalents ..?

    The recruitment crisis is just as deep, if not even worse, in specialty medicine, so that's not a reason.

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  • The BMA news review had a winning entry by Dr Sassa.
    She worked 4 days and nights with 4 hours sleep and started a meltdown which was stopped by a cup of tea.
    If this happened in a 3rd world country, there would be a hue and cry.
    The EWTD put a stop to that,but if it was left to the BMA the juniors would still be doing it because they DO NOT care about their workforce.
    I have done 800 such weeekends.
    Do you know any one any where that does 4 days and nights without sleep ? Only members of the BMA.
    That is the measure of our Union.
    Judges still pay 3% in pension, ours has gone up to 14% and 28% for GPs.
    A solicitor firm made almost 3 million last year from legal aid and many barristers made 1 million plus.
    Perhaps we should all join the Lawyer's Union. The BMA will never DO anything, only point out to us lackeys how bad everything is. As if we did not know already.
    Hopefully, the whole of GP land will collapse and we may have to negotiate.
    I think we forget they need us more than we need them.
    We need to resign en masse from the NHS.
    Well, GPC/ BMA ?

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