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A faulty production line

It's official: 90% of GPs will get nothing

By Steve Nowottny

This year's pay award will cost taxpayers just £5m, with nine in 10 GPs due to receive no increase at all, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The DH finally published the Statement of Financial Entitlements for 2008-9 last week, after months of wrangling with GP leaders over the details of the award.

The move also means that PCTs can at last start offering GPs the national incentive for extended opening, after details of the extended opening DES were finalised.

GPs will nominally receive a 2.7% increase in pay – but no increase in MPIG funding. The document predicts that in practice, just 7% of GMS practices will receive the full pay increase, while 2% will receive a partial increase. The remaining 91% of practices will receive nothing.

The pay award will come into effect on 1 October, but the minority of practices which will gain from the award will receive a lump sum at the end of October including arrears backdated to April.

A Pulse investigation last week revealed the third successive income squeeze is putting massive pressure on practices. Three quarters of GPs have taken a cut in income over the past year, while 40% have begun proactively trying to expand their lists.

Dr Robert Penman, a GP in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, said ‘The third successive pay freeze is in reality a third successive pay cut for GP partners.'

It's backs to the wall financially for nine out of ten GPs It's backs to the wall financially for nine out of ten GPs

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