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A faulty production line

BMA: GPs are being treated unfairly

The BMA has responded to the Government announcement of a 1.32% uplift in practice funding, saying it will mean that GPs have to take another real terms pay cut.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt today rejected a recommendation from the doctors’ pay review body for a 2.29% pay rise to cover rising staff expenses on the basis that he wanted to ensure that practice staff were subjected to the same 1% limit on pay as other members of the public sector.

Accountants are predicting up to a 4% reduction in GP take-home pay due to rising expenses and have accused ministers of ignoring key evidence when signing off a 1.32% uplift in practice funding from April.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘We are bitterly disappointed that the Government is interfering with the recommendations of the review body. 

‘The Government is essentially telling GPs that their staff should earn less than what the DDRB has indicated, or that GPs should take another real terms pay cut.

‘GPs will be fed up that they are again being treated unfairly, particularly when they are also facing the imposition of unwelcome contract changes and having to deal with the consequences of the Health and Social Care Act in England. GPs may feel less motivated to work with the Government in the future at a time when they are needed most.’

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter, Chair of BMA Council, said: ‘The DDRB recommended a gross uplift of 2.29% for GP contractors – to cover increases in practice expenses and staff pay and deliver a 1% net increase to GP pay in line with other doctors – but the Government has reduced that to 1.32%, challenging the Review Body’s calculations on staff pay.’

Readers' comments (8)

  • What can we expect when Dr Buckman, our great negotiator, had already publicly given his position as "the government hold all the cards"?
    We're right to be bitter but we should also question our ineffectual leadership.

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  • I think it is time Dr Buckman stepped down. Although the initial offer was terrible he has actually managed to lose all GPs money by losing what was previously on the table. The was no excuse to not to return to the table. But why should he? He has been earning his BMA cash anyway and by doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. I will get my additional cash anyway by saving my BMA subs next year! & removing my LMC voluntary levy.

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  • To be fair to Dr Buckman, the reality of independent contractor status is that changes can be imposed. No leadership can change that legal reality.

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  • He should resign immediately. he has ensured all GPs in the country will have a much worse deal come April.

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  • Undated resignation letters?

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  • Gary Young

    I cannot help but feel that making the case 'GPs are being treated unfairly' is going to achieve anything. DH know it, that's why they are doing it, and the public won't listen to relatively well paid GPs bleating being treated unfairly when they, the public, are being hammered too. The only argument I can see that has merit is the impact on GP delivered NHS services to the public. A cut is a cut to the NHS in their eyes, and that's not on. Frame that argument properly and give it to the public and they might, just might, fight the corner for GPs. If BMA provide us with the materials to support such a campaign, we’ll even do the leg work. Too obvious?

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  • The only way to win this argument is to demonstrate that the Tories have just cut the NHS. The smoldering recruitment crisis is also beginning to bite into service provision. Politicians aren't stupid and they know their voters trust their GP more than they trust MPs so we actually have quite a good long term hand to play here especially if we make the risks of these reforms very clear. The government are actually playing quite a high risk game with CCGs because if the wheels fall off this reform any future government will really struggle to further the involvement of the private sector.

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  • GPs calling for Dr Buckman's resignation clearly believe in shooting the messenger when they don't like the message.
    When the message was to take industrial action last year that was also rejected by 88% of the ranks.
    To Dr Buckman's critics I say put up or shut up.

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