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GPC 'powerless to overturn controversial DDRB decision'

GPC negotiators are unable to reverse the controversial Government decision to limit GP pay uplift to just 0.28%, despite the ‘dubious’ methodology of the review body report, the GPC chair has told Pulse.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul admitted that allocations recommended by the DDRB were ‘set in stone’, but that the BMA’s policy research unit will find out ‘exactly where it went wrong’ for next year.

Another GPC negotiator called on GPs to write to their local MPs to begin a ‘root and branch’ attack on funding cuts.

The comments followed last week’s report from the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration report (DDRB), which claimed that an 0.28% uplift to the Global Sum will lead to a 1% pay rise for GPs due to falling staff costs, but went on to admit the formula it used has been historically ‘flawed’.

Accountants have described the report’s expense estimates as a ‘mystery’ and stated that staff costs have risen by around 2% to 3% - rather than the 1.4% decrease cited by the report.

Speaking to Pulse, Dr Nagpaul said: ‘With DDRB, one of the important priorities for us is to look at the methodology used - it’s been dubious.’

‘One thing we’re going to do – as GPC – is use our policy research unit to find out exactly where it went wrong. Because the methodology has not come up with the figures that GPs recognise, and we need to look towards a refined process of the evidence beneath the unarguable reality that workload and expenses are rocketing.’

When asked whether the pay award was ‘set in stone’, Dr Nagpaul replied: ‘Yes, so we do need to work now [for next year]… You need to start defining the evidence now, the methodology. I think we need to urgently look at the sort of evidence that will give GPs a fair deal for their future.’

The BMA Council meets tomorrow (Tuesday), but Dr Nagpaul said he was unable to comment on whether the pay award would be discussed.

Dr Beth McCarron-Nash, a fellow GPC negotiator, said the cuts announced in recent weeks had left GPs ‘utterly dismayed’ and said that without urgent remedying ‘general practice will not be able to deliver core services.’

She said: ‘It’s a death of 1000 cuts in the NHS. It’s now getting to the point where patient services are severely affected and there’s been several announcements in the last week that have left many GPs utterly dismayed.’

‘One of them is the whittling away of things that in the past have been funded, the big one is actually the slap in the face of a DDRB rise.’

She added: ‘Unless individual GPs start telling their MPs exactly how it is, and we start getting together a concerted movement at grassroots level – whether that’s via LMCs or individual practices - contacting their MPs.’

‘I would urge all doctors: Don’t wait for the BMA, don’t wait for the GPC – of course we’ll be pushing very hard and will continue to do so - but what we also need is a root and branch attack on this.’

The Unite union has already said it is going to ballot members on the possibility of a strike over the pay award.

Readers' comments (27)

  • I think visiting your MP in their surgery may be the way to go.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Is it really that difficult to say, 'you are lying!' Instead of calling something "dubious".
    Sigh!Chaand , I can understand sometimes you guys have to be careful what you say to the public But........Baggages , impedimenta as I said before.

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  • I'm sorry I've got to laugh - this news should not surprise anyone.

    The best bit is there will be plenty more to come ...

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  • I thought the purpose of leaders is to show leadership?

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  • l despair! ls not one of our leaders prepared to defend their General Practice colleagues & say 'enough'! Simply shrugging this off with promises of doing better next year beggars belief . For the many practices who are already on the brink with inadequate & shrinking funding, mushrooming workloads & expectations from all quarters (read the article entitled " nhs gps work for free") this is just 'fiddling while Rome burns'.

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  • " A fair deal for their future " There is no future . Anyone with an index linked parachute is strapping it on now getting ready to bail out. When these lucky bastards have gone general practice will crash and burn.

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  • The best thing the BMA can do is join forces with the other Health Service4 Unions to fight the Governments determination to make us all economic regulators. Alone we lack political kudos in the corridors of power. How are the mighty fallen!!

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  • Sorry, have I misunderstood this?

    DDRB recommendation can be ignored by the government if it causes inconvenience but the BMA consists it's recommendation "set in stone".

    I'm even more convinced now BMA leaders are sleeping in the same bed as DoH officials!

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  • What about steps to reduce workload to match the reduced funding over the last few years?

    I would suggest

    'Weekend Wednesdays'

    Where every practice is encouraged to change their Wednesday surgeries to one on call doctor only, dealing with major emergencies. I think it is within the contract and will certainly reduce overall workload/ save money on staff; plus in direct opposition to what the government wants. It might increase overall NHS costs, but at the moment I just do not care.

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  • Government decision to limit GP pay uplift to just 0.28%, while they are 'Forced' to accept their 11% pay rise.

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