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The waiting game

Individual GP earnings to be published from 2016

GPs will have to publish their individual net earnings from 2016/17 under radical plans to increase transparency revealed by NHS England.

Practices will be required to publish average earnings for GP partners and salaried GPs on their website by April 2016 under the new GP contract deal.

But NHS England said that this was an ‘interim solution’ before NHS England pushes ahead with ‘publishing individual GP net earnings in 2016/17’.

The formula for calculating GP earnings has been the subject of negotiations between the GPC and NHS England since the requirement to publish pay was announced in last year’s contract.

The 2015/16 GP contract in England says that practices must publish the average practice earnings per GP, but only for contractual income from NHS England, CCGs and local authorities. Income from premises, dispensing, private work, out of hours or other commitments, will be exempt.

Alongside the mean figure, practices will publish the number of full and part time GPs associated with the published figure.

In a letter to the profession, GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the current scheme was ‘fairer’ than the practice income estimates which are currently published, and which have led to ‘exaggerated’ headlines in the media.

Dr Nagapul said: ‘There will be no requirement to publish individual named incomes. Alongside the mean figure, practices will publish the number of full and part time GPs associated with the published figure.’

‘Non-contract NHS earnings, such as from education,  CCG work, out of hours etc will be excluded, as will premises and dispensing monies, and non-NHS income.’

‘This will provide a much fairer indication of GP NHS contract earnings than the figures currently published annually by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, which includes NHS income unrelated to the contract as well as private income, and which has resulted in exaggerated headlines in the media.’

But a letter from NHS England to area teams ’s letter states: ‘This is an interim solution until arrangements are finalised for publishing individual GP net earnings in 2016/17.’

However, Bob Senior, chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants and head of medical services at Baker Tilly warned the plans could have unexpected consequences.

He told Pulse: ‘Publishing GP income could give some very unwelcome results.’

‘There are parts of the country where it is quite hard to find doctors, or indeed in some areas where the doctors are working on salaried basis, they’re on quite low salaries- because there is a very unequal market out there.’

‘So all of a sudden, those populations which are currently quite difficult to doctor, are going to have no winners - because they’re not going to attract someone when they’re earning less than everyone else.’

Readers' comments (52)

  • Will earnings be income minus expenses (i.e profits) as the expenses are about 65% of total income?
    If not, the whole exercise will lead to meaningless figures that let the DoH and daily mail claim exaggerated income for GPs... Sadly I'm sure the BMA will mess it up and allow published figures that don't reflect true income.

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  • If this is about transparency, why are the GPs only ones that are required to publish the figure? Every one in NHS, from senior most manager to the kitchen worker should all be required to publish their income, as well as actual working time, holidays and expenses.

    Some how this stinks of discrimination. Would the bma please contract European court of human rights?

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  • Will the APMS practices have to publish their earnings as well ?

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  • Azeem Majeed

    When the pay of GP Principals is published, it should be done in a manner that makes their pay as comparable as possible to that of salaried NHS employees. As well as removing practice expenses, this would also require removing employers' national insurance and superannuation contributions (which NHS employees do not pay) from the statistics. Other fees such as MDU or MPS membership and the costs of CPD (which salaried NHS employees also do not typically pay) should also be removed from the statistics.


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  • Yes, How come I can`t easily find local consultants pay, or our chief execs, and all other NHS staff/contractors pay on the hospital website? It would make a good case in European courts if someone has the time/guts to do it.
    Does begger the question -why? So we can be villified further? To justify pay cuts ?Transparency- my arse.

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  • why dont all GPs 'just say no' to this! Why would independent contractors to the NHS have to publish pay. It is completely loaded. If you run a practice efficiently and earn more, is this better or worse than offering poor care and earning less??


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  • The only rational explanation for this disriminatory action is that the data will be used as another means of reducing/controlling GP salaries using DOH spin as a means. The aim of all parties is to have a GP workforcr paid a full time salary of approx 60K as this is our percieved worth.

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  • Personally, as low earning practice, I could not care less...but surely consultants pay including merit awards (paid by the taxpayer) be published??

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