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BMA poll reveals 90% of doctors say GP pay rise is 'unacceptable'

Nine out of ten doctors regard the latest government pay award as ‘unacceptable’, according to a BMA survey.

This comes as GP leaders said the latest award means that GPs have experienced a 20% pay cut since 2008.

The Government has said the 2% pay rise announced in July includes the 1% pay rise already agreed as part of the contract negotiationswhich had resulted in a 3.4% increase to practice funding.

However, 92% of the 12,000 doctors surveyed in England said the pay offer was either ‘highly unacceptable’ or ‘somewhat unacceptable’.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, who is also a GP, said the survey results are a ‘wake-up call for the Government’.

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘They [the Government] have seriously misjudged the mood of the profession with what is another sub-inflationary pay award…

‘With the NHS facing severe shortages of doctors across all specialities, it is more important than ever that the government recognises the contribution declining pay has had on the ability to recruit and detain doctors and takes steps to reverse this.’

He added: ‘Since 2008, doctors have experienced the largest drop in earnings of all professions subject to pay review bodies, with consultants seeing a 19% fall in pay, junior doctors 21% and GPs 20%.’

The survey also found that less than 1% of the doctors surveyed felt more valued because of the pay rise, whereas 88% said the value they feel as a doctor working in the NHS had reduced over the past week. Meanwhile, 84% said their morale had worsened since the pay award was announced.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: 'We value our hardworking doctors and they have all seen significant pay rises since the introduction of the new contract last year – between September 2016 and September 2017 those in their first year received a £1,716 increase and those in core training received  £2,024. The government has accepted the independent pay review body’s recommendation of a further 2% increase - the largest pay rise in ten years.'

The 2% rise came despite the recommendation by the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) that GPs should receive a 4% increase.

Readers' comments (13)

  • The answer has to be firm and clear cut.

    For employed doctors I would recommend a start date for long term continuous strike. It worked in Iceland and NZ. Don't muddy the waters with talk about steps to improve patient safety etc, just a strike because the pay package was unacceptable. Also do not draw it out with harmless one day and emergency only strikes - because that just makes it easier to drag the whole problem out, we want a quick resolution. There will be enough non-members to keep people safe.

    For contractors it is more complicated. I suggest cancel all appointments AND appointment systems and limit the number of appointments per day. Insist that all practices operate a queue (like the post office). When the recommended number of patients have been seen EVERYONE else gets turfed to A+E - including emergency prescription requests, red flag symptoms and obviously emergencies.
    Then they can start queuing for the next working day.

    I doubt any of that will have traction, but it would work if it was introduced. Someone smarter than me can work out if it is in line with the GMS contract - I think it is. At the very least the queue system would limit workload.

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  • emergency only strikes, meant to mean elective only strikes.

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  • AlanAlmond

    Isn’t this a wake up call for the BMA rather than the government?

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  • And what are you going to do about it apart from wring your hands.What are you going to do as the DRs union.Glad I stopped feeding the beast.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Yes, it will be the usual bleating of a sheep in a field, messages that doctors' morale is at an all-time low etc.

    Meanwhile, the irony is that those of us who have retired get better pay rises than those in work!

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  • I worry about the 10%, that think year on year pay cuts are ok

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  • Just locum. I ain’t seen no pay cut.

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  • Absolutely pointless polling. A substitute for actually doing something.

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  • Hogwash, I completely agree our enforced GMS contracts are subsidising primary care, with locum day rates from ‘managed’ practices topping £1000 a day, it is time that we all became locums, only then will we realise our true earning potential.

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    Hogwash.. locums have not seen a pay rise either
    If you work with the agencies they will increasingly try to drive the hourly rate down
    The market has a surplus of locums and so the agency may be able to do this
    Private bookings can go as high as 100/hr
    agencies as low as 80/hr
    When you think what A+E or walk in or OOH charge per patient seen
    then it is food for thought

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