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Practices forced to offer £130k salaried jobs in bid to attract GPs

A £130,000-a-year salaried GP post is being offered at a struggling practice that was taken over by a hospital trust last year.

NHS Humber Foundation Trust told Pulse it is seeking a nine-sessions-per-week salaried GP, who will earn a ‘competitive salary’ of £120,000-130,000 plus QOF bonus and paid indemnity.

The trust, which took over the Field House Surgery in Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, earlier this year, said it has been running the practice with locums only.

It was asked by NHS England to step in and take over the practice after the regional team had seen the contract handed back by two previous providers in two years, and following two unsuccessful rounds of procurement for a new provider.

As Pulse revealed last year, Bridlington was facing a potential ‘domino effect’ of closures as all the practices in the town had closed their lists due to unmanageable workloads.

Humber FT director of community, primary care, children’s and learning disability services Julia Harrison-Mizon said that since taking on the practice contract in January, the trust has 'provided consistent GP cover through arrangements with long-term locums'.

She added: 'We have, however, been working hard to recruit a permanent, full-time lead GP for the surgery.

‘With the workload in the Bridlington area being significant, this appointment would be hugely important and beneficial for our registered patient population. As such, we are looking for an outstanding individual to take on the role.'

The latest offical statistics for England, released last week, showed the average salaried GP took home pre-tax earnings of £55,800 in 2015/16. The salary on offer in Bridlington would also be nearly almost a third bigger than the average partner salary of £101,300.

Ms Harrison-Mizon said: 'Until now, a suitable candidate has not come forward but we remain hopeful one will do so and have re-advertised the post with a competitive salary.'

Prospect Health, the recruitment firm advertising the role, told Pulse that it had also recently filled a salaried GP position in North Lincolnshire at £135,000 a year.

‘Lincolnshire as a whole has a shortage of GPs. It’s a real issue and it’s the same with the Bridlington, Scarborough, Filey area,' said one recruiter who wanted to remain anonymous.

'The difficulty is that so few GPs work in those areas, you’re trying to get someone to commute those distances or relocate. It’s basic supply and demand.'

Dr Zoe Norris, the BMA GP Committee’s lead on salaried and sessional GP issues, who works as a locum in Yorkshire, suggested the role would come with a significant workload.

She said: 'They are struggling to get locums, they’re struggling to get everyone. They’ve got a good team of nurses but they need a GP. So it’s basically to be a single-handed partner but arguably it needs more than one GP to fix it.’

She said of the recruitment pressures in general that it 'is getting to a sad stage when partners are so undervalued and the core contract is so poorly resourced that the only way to be adequately remunerated is in a salaried post in an area that’s been so deprived and has been struggling for so long'.

But she added: ‘It comes back to the basic premise: you have to invest in the partnership model. If we’re all going to take £130,000-nine-session salaried posts, smashing, but the NHS will collapse.'

Bridlington is not the only part of the country suffering workforce problems so dire that practices have collectively closed lists, with Folkestone, Kent, and North Ayrshire, Scotland, representing two other areas.

Meanwhile, a GPC survey revealed that half of practices across England would be willing to close lists to focus on existing patients.

Is money the answer to the GP recruitment crisis?

The BMA's GP Committee's Sessional GP Survey 2017 found less than one in 10 respondents (7.9%) would consider moving locations for less than a 10% earnings improvement. 

Meanwhile, more than six in 10 respondents would not move for any financial incentive or other reason (61.3%). The BMA posed the question:

What level of realistic annual earnings improvement would cause you to consider moving locations (assuming all other conditions of the job were the same)?

bma financial incentives to relocate

Source: BMA



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Readers' comments (32)

  • Glad a troubled practice run by a trust can find the cash to pay a reasonable market rate for a highly trained employee.
    It helps that NHS Trusts can run up a tab and be bailed out, unlike GP Partners who have to sell their house if they go into debt.

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  • 9 sessions is heavy. But it's a good sessional rate. Even so they can't fill the post which says a lot about General
    Practice right now

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  • I assume this doesn't include on costs so true cost inc indemnity, is more like 146k.

    If it's on BMA's model contract, GP will have 6.5 + 6.5 week's annual leave + study time i.e. 6-7 weeks more lave then a partner. With locum cover at £350/session, for 6 weeks extra, it'll cost further 19k.

    So, in total it's more like 165k when equated to a partner. Now, how many partner in UK earns that much in a year?

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  • It's a trap! I've made the mistake of taking up a lead GP post in a failing practice early on in my career and it almost killed me! One has to a non-caring sociopath to not burn out in such a setting.

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  • Pay scales for consultants in England
    The tables below list the basic pay scales for consultants in England for 2017-18.

    The full details are available to download in the 2017-18 pay circular.

    Consultants on 2003 contract

    Threshold £ per annum 1 76,761 2 79,165 3 81,568
    4 83,972 5 (4-8 years completed as consultant) 86,369 6 (9-13 years completed as consultant) 92,078 7 (14-18 years completed as consultant) 97,787 8 (19 years completed as consultant) 103,490

    Consultants on pre 2003 contract

    Level Consultant £ per annum Basic 63,733 1 68,293 2 72,855 3 77,415 4 82,616

    Clinical excellence awards 2016

    Level Clinical excellence awards £ Level 1 3,016
    Level 2 6,032 Level 3 9,048 Level 4 12,064 Level 5 15,080 Level 6 18,096 Level 7 24,128 Level 8 30,160 Level 9 or Bronze 36,192 Level 10 or Silver 47,582 Level 11 or Gold 59,477 Level 12 or Platinum 77,320


    Levels 10-12 are awarded nationally by the Advisory Committee of CEAs (ACCEA).

    Local level CEAs for levels 2 - 9 are multiples of the Level 1 award (x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x8, x10 and x12).

    Details of discretionary points, distinction awards and intensity supplements will be available in the 2017-18 circular.

    Hospital doctors at the top of the scale get an unconsolidated 1% which is also included in the pay circular.

    Doctors appointed before 2003 who are on new contracts

    This is available in the pay circular 2017-18, annex C table 1.


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  • The thin end of a very sticky option!
    Expect more examples of this type as "challenging practices" fail and become urgent problems.£130k is current going rate and will increase!

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  • AlanAlmond

    I guess this is what they have been having to pay to provide Locum cover. It will be the rate dictated by the market. That's as good an estimation of what we are worth as anything going. If you think general practice could be run cheaper by employing more people at lower rates with less training you are'd cost more. Weve been abused and trodden on for so very long some of us have forgotten we are actually a pretty useful profession and the market reflects that...whilst the government does everything it can to make everyone think otherwise.

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  • It's essentially danger money.....risk of burnout/stress in that context salary and peaks entirely appropriate.

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  • The power of market forces Mr Hunt. You and your party have now opened pandoras box and it will not be closed.

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  • Maverick

    My financial advisor charges £350.00 per hour before VAT.
    350 x 40 (hour week) x 46 (allow 6 weeks holiday) = £644,000.00 pa.
    My solicitor charges £300.00 per hour before VAT.
    300 x 40 x 46 = £552.000.00 pa.
    Just ball park figures of course.
    £130,000.00 / 40 / 46 = £70.65 per hour
    Food for thought....

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