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Seniority payments to be reduced by 15% a year

Seniority payments will be reduced by 15% a year until they are completely abolished in 2020, under the new GP contract deal for 2014/15.

The payments - worth an extra £8,000 per year for senior GPs - will be continued for those getting them on 31 March 2014, and will then not be given to any new entrants to the scheme from that date.

It is intended that there will be a 15% reduction in spend each year and NHS Employers say that any money released will be ‘reinvested in core funding’.

Accountant Bob Senior chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA) and head of medical services at Baker Tilly, said the change ‘will not go down well’.

He said: ‘The retention for six years for those currently receiving seniority will avoid some senior GPs simply calling it a day now; however, I am not too sure how well it will be regarded by younger partners in a few year’s time. 

‘They may well wonder why a senior GP should be receiving an extra £8,000 for effectively doing the same job as them. While they may have been prepared to accept it when they thought that at some point in the future they would be in the senior partner’s position they may not be so accepting in the new arrangements.’ 

But GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul hailed this as an important concession given ‘the Government has expressed a determination to phase out age related pay progression across the public sector’, but expressed concern about the retention of older doctors.

He said: ‘We recognise that the Government has expressed a determination to phase out age-related pay progression across the public sector, and we remain concerned at how the removal of seniority will affect GP retention.

‘However, we are pleased to have negotiated for these to remain in place for the next six years for those currently receiving them. We have also secured a commitment that all the savings made will be reinvested back into general practice budgets and will not be lost to the profession as a whole.’


Readers' comments (25)

  • Cutting the pay of the most experienced doctors will accelerate the stampede for the exits .

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  • So no more merit awards for consultants then?

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  • Exactly what will happen to the money saved?
    The GPC should have cast-iron guarantees that it will not be lost to the Profession.

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  • So I assume for equity reasons that all the staff under Agenda for Change and within the Consultant and Staff and Associate specialist grades will also lose incremental pay progression. Oh no wait...this is just another anti-GP move that will result in a loss of the most experienced GPs .
    As a young GP I have so far had nothing but reductions in pay, now I will not receive seniority and just to cap it off will have to work 8 years longer for a lower pension that was promised when I signed up for the scheme. They wonder why there is a recruitment crisis looming.

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  • I am a older doctor aged 56. I do not want to be discriminated in favour off or against on the basis of my age, but like other doctors on the basis of the quality of the job i do and the service I deliver to patients.

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  • 10:32 makes a very valid point, the loss of seniority pay has to be seen across all public employees not just GPs or is entirely discriminatory.

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  • surely this is just discriminating, seniority is not about age it is EXPERIENCE, and this will be lost. I cannot believe that this is fair it is just another pay cut.

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  • Having seen my seniority creep in and due for a step up in (yes, you guessed it April 14) I'm really delighted that the whole profession can unite over an issue. How dare they remove the seniority that rewards dedication to a service so that the older ones will jump ship; how dare they dangle the carrot and whip it away from my younger collegues so they should reconsider the job and for us 40 somethings we got kicked in the left b[sic] with pension changes, the right b[sic] additional hours/wage reduction and now up the a[sic] with seniority loss. GPs under 35 and over 55 go now enjoy new pastures.

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  • No more rewards for loyalty and long service. I am about to retire but I feel sorry for my younger colleagues. The fun went out of general practice years ago. All that is left is the hard work.

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  • Early retirement....

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