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Independents' Day

GPs in England to get 1% pay rise from April

The GP contract negotiations for England have concluded with a 3.4% uplift to overall funding for 2018/19.

The £256.3m in additional funding is to cover rising expenses – including £60m to cover indemnity inflation – plus a 1% pay uplift for GPs pending a recommendation by the independent pay review body.

As part of the agreement, between NHS England and the BMA, there will also be a widening of the pilot of NHS 111 directly booking GP appointments at practices that want to participate.

The BMA said there would also be a major review of GP premises, working with NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, to begin as early as summer 2018.

The negotiations have also resulted in:

  • An agreement to complete the rollout of the Electronic Prescription Service;
  • A £10m investment to support full implementation of the e-Referral Service to make this available at every GP practice by October this year.
  • Changes to Premises Cost Directions to enable further investment in GP premises, and clarification on issues related to last person standing;
  • Uplifts for services fees for specific vaccinations and immunisations;
  • Improvements in funding for sickness and maternity/parental/adoption leave cover;
  • Strengthened violent patient regulations.

Pulse had already reported that there would be no changes to QOF and no changes to enhanced services.

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'I am pleased we have reached agreement with NHS England on changes to the contract this year, which includes some important improvements in areas such as pay and expenses, indemnity and premises.

'While this agreement alone will not resolve many of the issues facing general practice today, it builds on our progress from the last two years and provides stability to practices at a time when there is little else stable for our profession.' 

As previously reported by Pulse, the final verdict on the GP pay uplift requested by the BMA (of 2% plus RPI), could be delayed until summer.

NHS Employers today said the DDRB recommendation is expected in May.

Dr Vautrey told Pulse: 'We have agreed an interim 1% uplift to pay whilst we await the outcome of the delayed DDRB process. Any additional award will be backdated.'

Dr Arvind Madan, NHS England director of primary care, said: 'This new contract is positive news for patients and GPs, especially the focus on digital solutions. This will help GPs focus their time and resources on the areas that matter most to their patients.'

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: 'The 2018/19 contract is a further concrete step in investing in and strengthening general practice, which is at the heart of our modern NHS.'


Readers' comments (30)

  • Amazing it certainly will stop me retiring early!

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  • I’ll not be rushing out on a mad spending spree then!

    Thanks to the BMA for helping push forward my retirement plans!

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  • Nope so just 1% more pay for increased turd polishing!

    Still I'm sure those extra 1200 places will be well oversubscribed with such a generous pay settlement.

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  • Underwhelming more of the same.Glad I stopped my BMA membership.

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  • Glad to have made the decision to leave GP!! Why do we and patients put up with it?

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  • Inflation is 2.7% plus the minimum wage and indemnity rises. More like less pay cut than a 1% pay rise spin for GPs.

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  • I would like to thank the GPC negotiators for what they have achieved. Of course we all hoped for better but it could have been worse.

    I have been plotting my financial independence from NHS work for about 15 years. I would suggest that everyone else does too.

    Sorry for not being more colourful or fresh in my commentary but I am starting to conform to the expectations of my non Pale and Stale colleagues.

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  • Vautrey has been a spectator.

    We need BMA leadership to influence the contract not simply accept the DHSC position.

    Because - if the BMA "negotiated" this contract, what would a non-negotiated contract have looked like? Would or could it have been worse than this?

    The lack of change is more indicative of a failure at the top of the BMA / GPC than anything to blame the government for.

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  • How can this be presented as a pay rise when it is less than half of inflation? They really do want rid of us.....

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  • 1% pay rise = 2% drop in pay after inflation.

    That must, 100% be linked to every practice reducing the total number of appointments available by 2%. Everyone who cannot get an appointment should be told to go to A+E.

    If that formula is applied, then suddenly those in power will understand the value of general practice and cherish it. Unfortunately, there is unlikely to be enough agreement around the country to apply that principal.

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