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The waiting game

GPs won't be forced to reveal individual pay as part of contract deal

GPs will not be expected to publish their individual earnings as part of new transparency measures included in the GP contract deal, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The wide-ranging contract agreement announced earlier today including a commitment for the GPC to join a working group with NHS England and NHS Employers to develop proposals on how to publish information on GPs’ net earnings relating to the GP contract from 2015/16.

Coverage of the commitment had led to fears that GPs would be forced to publish their personal earnings, with Jeremy Hunt telling the Times that ‘the public will know what salaries GPs are taking home for NHS work’, and the wording of the agreement unclear as to exactly what would be covered.

But when pressed by Pulse as to whether Jeremy Hunt intended individual GPs’ earnings to be published, a Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘He wants to see an average salary across the practice’.

The BMA and DH have formed a working group to hammer out details of exactly how the payment will be measured and weighted to make it comparable to other healthcare professions.

GPC negotiator Dr Beth McCarron-Nash told Pulse: ‘What we’ve agreed to is a working group to look at publication of NHS earnings in relation to a central contract, comparable to other NHS staff.’

‘So we’ve not agreed to show each individual’s earnings. That’s not what Jeremy Hunt’s said this morning, but that actually is what’s written in the contract.’

‘I think that when you are negotiating with any monopoly employer, then obviously the bottom line is, it’s often up to them if they want to impose a change - and that’s what we saw last year. He has seen the terrible effect that that’s had on GP morale and the fact that if you impose anything on anyone, without good will, then you lose the whole workforce.

Dr Mike Ingram, GPC member and a GP in Radlett, Hertfordshire, told Pulse that negotiation over what exactly was published was key.

‘The thing is we’re not employees, so a GP’s “profit”, that is the profit of a practice divided by the number of partners, does not give you a real figure. Because you might plough it back in. You’ve got all the expensive investments, and also some of that is rent, some is your ownership of the property. It doesn’t relate to your activities, doing general practice.’

He added: ‘What it comes down to is “how much is a GP earning from their basic NHS contract work”? That’s number one. Number two, once we’ve got that it has to be made comparable with other people in the public sector, it’s got to be weighted and agreed that it’s comparable.’

‘Unless that’s agreed, in a form which is an acceptable comparison, then I don’t think things will progress.’


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Readers' comments (28)

  • If so quick to repeal this element then what else should be repealed!

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  • Most of the GPs are working longer hours to get their pay.taking reports and letters home to work during the weekends. Most of us has remote access and checking the path results and other reviews from home.
    They have to consider the expenses of MDU/MPS,BMA,RCGP,CQC and other regular expenses. Most of us are unable to take holidays. Locums are very expensive - GPs have to pay the 14% pension.
    Unable to take the 24hrs responsiblity for over 75yrs.

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  • ah, poor lambs

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  • I shall be putting a poster up in my surgery on Monday telling patients what I earn. It works out at about £27 an hour.I am 52 and have worked in the NHS for 29 years. This is for a partner. The practice nurses earn £21 an hour. When I am asked to sign my name as carrying individual responsibility for out of hours care for elderly patients I shall quit. Simples. It seems that whatever the government wants the government gets. GPs are independent businesses when it suits the government but are told exactly exactly what to do to earn their £27 per hour. They're extracting the urine and the escalating burden of responsibility with decreasing pay will see experienced GPs quit . How will this help?

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  • Dear 'Anonymous | 15 November 2013 10:13pm'
    ...thank you for reminding me why I ditched my career in general practice last year. I sincerely hope you are finding it increasingly difficult to get an appointment with your over paid moaning GP. Good luck, good bye and good riddance to you and your kind :)

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  • Judging by the comments on the discussion boards and the way I’m feeling about the future, there will be fewer GPs practicing next year and fewer doctors will want to enter the General Practice in the future. As a registrar approaching the end of his training, who has experienced year-on-year pension and contract changes that will reduce his current and projected income, coupled with facing growing public ingratitude and derision, entirely driven by the government's relentless political offensive to turn the mindless members of the public against us, I’m not too excited about the future either.

    But, this is great shame for general practice and for patients seeking care in the future. Because despite the fact that the Centre for Workforce Intelligence strongly recommended a need for “substantial increase in GP training phased in over several years” (CfWI March 2013), contrasting a prediction of “more fully trained hospital doctors than the current projected demand suggests will be required” (CfWI Feb 2012) the Government and the GPC have done nothing whatsoever to increase the appeal or moral of the profession.

    I’d also point out that falling pay and a potential graduation student loan approaching £100,000 for future medical students whose parents cannot fund them through medical school, coupled to interest rates of 3% points above base rate, make general practice look like a financially pointless career option for the future.

    But finally, a Government Impact Assessment on the Friends and Family Test (IA5169 1/1/2011) concluded “given high levels of satisfaction with GP services in the GP Patient Survey, if the Friends and Family Test were extended to GP services there is a risk that gains in patient well being will not be realised ... It will be expensive because of the high number of GP consultations, so this risks making NPV negative for GP services.” I thought that the government was still overspending and needed to cut costs? Any other practice checking the paint on the walls of their consulting rooms complies with CQC?

    On political doctor bashing - perhaps we should empathise with our narcissistic politicians who just cannot tolerate GPs being more popular than them...

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  • No problem with publishing pay. Work out take home pay per consultation. It varies from 2.60 to 4.30 per visit.

    This is cheap. Very cheap.
    In fact, time to leave.

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  • Bravo. I reckon we should all congratulate the GPC now for contract negotiations that leave us still with no increased funding, more responsibilities, no seniority pay and no pay deal.
    So in essence we're applauding ourselves for having been screwed again and getting screwed again when a pay deal is announced - nothing new then. So proud to be a GP. We're our own worst enemy.

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    As said in the guardian - Mr Hunt's politic game is to blame the GP when on every winter crisis- elderly sick on trolleys in a/e, no beds, red alerts, etc etc. YES- Then see your GP also earns a mega 100k and is under-worked, overpaid and reluctant to do home visits, not doing his job properly, etc. etc.

    PS: DO not forget to turn the lights off when you leave the NHS.

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  • edit:


    As said in the guardian - Mr Hunt's politic game is to blame the GP when on every winter crisis- elderly sick on trolleys in a/e, no beds, red alerts, etc etc. YES- Then see your GP also earns a mega 100k and is under-worked, overpaid and reluctant to do home visits, not doing his job properly, etc. etc.

    PS: DO not forget to turn the lights off when you leave the NHS.

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