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GPs to declare if they earn over £150k from 2021 for national publication

High-earning GPs will be required to declare their earnings for national publication from next year as part of new contractual arrangements. 

Under the updated contract negotiated between NHS England and the BMA last week, GPs who earn more than £150,000 per year in pensionable income - including partners, salaried GPs and locums - will be 'listed by name and earnings bands' publicly. 

Regulations will be changed in October, with GPs having to confirm their 2019/20 earnings in February 2021. However, the BMA could not confirm to Pulse when details of earnings would be published.

The threshold for declared earnings will start at £150,000 for 2019/20 income and will rise every year in line with inflation - to an estimated £163,000 by 2023/24.

The move, first announced in 2019 under the five-year GP contract, is designed to 'safeguard public trust' in the partnership model and increase pay transparency, the BMA and NHS England said in 2019.

However, GP leaders argued this is an attempt to name and shame GPs that does not reflect the hours they work, and which will ultimately fuel anti-GP sentiment among the public who believe family doctors are paid too much.

The updated contract said: 'From October 2020, the regulations will be amended to require contractors and sub-contractors to submit self-declarations annually if their NHS superannuable earnings are over £150,000 per annum – starting with 2019/20 income.

'For the purposes of pay transparency, NHS earnings will be defined initially as GP pensionable income although the scope may be broadened in future years. The self-declaration process will be aligned with the pensions return to minimise burden and potential costs for practices.'

It added: '2019/20 NHS earnings of over £150,000 will need to be declared in February 2021. Individuals with total NHS earnings above £150,000 per annum will be listed by name and earnings bands in a national publication.'

Last year, BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey told Pulse that there was a need for more transparency when it comes to individual incomes. 

He said at the time: 'We have recognised that there is increasingly a call for transparency to be put in place. [NHS managers] have their pay published in a public way. 

'So we accept [with] GPs who earn more than £150,000 from NHS earnings, for their pay to be published.' 

Dr Kamal Sidhu, GP and vice-chair at County Durham and Darlington LMC, warned the mechanism could produce unwelcome results - and would not adequately reflect the long hours worked by GPs.

He said: 'Although this is in line with many other fields in public services, I don't think it really serves any purpose.

'Many GPs work quite hard and long anti-social hours in various capacities including out of hours, night shifts etc. It is unfair to name and shame such GPs who help prop up many of the access services which involve very complex decisions, involving risk and uncertainty.'

He added: 'This mechanism of sharing salary does not take into account the work put in and only focuses on income. It's a worry this could be used to feed the anti-GP sentiment in a sensational way.'

Echoing his comments, Nottinghamshire LMC chair Dr Greg Place said: 'It probably is an attempt to name and shame GPs. Some people feel uncomfortable about GPs being high earners but the reason is because they work exceedingly hard.

'They’re taking an awful lot of responsibilities, they're doing an awful lot of work in lieu of secondary care, they’re doing a lot of work free of charge, which they have no capacity to charge for, so they will charge for what they can and will accept high profits to compensate for their stressful job.'

He added: 'Asking them to publish as a name and shame is unfair.'

Readers' comments (61)

  • If - and its a bloody big unlikelihood - I earn it I won't publish it.
    How will they police me?

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  • If my family doctor earnt £500K I don't know how that would affect my trust of them. Quite frankly knowledge of someone's high income would not affect my trust of them.

    Knowledge of their criminal record and medical training records would though.

    Can NHS England please explain what salary and trust have to do with each other please.

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  • This is just bizarre!

    What is the thought process behind this and our political master's end game?
    I can only imagine that they want to encourage private medicine, leave those GPs struggling in the NHS shamed into working less or emigrate where they can earn double/triple in a nicer environment.
    If a successful consultant earns £500K as they do in Oz why cut them down?
    Why not celebrate that they, their talent, experience and their hard work are worth it?
    This list will put fraudsters scrambling to those doctors as a target with identity fraud happening as soon as it is published.
    I hope the the BMA will get sued for agreeing to release this personal data.
    Great deal..




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  • On Dominic Cumming's blog in his essay he states there are those that are interested and wish to be "appearing on the side of the poor and less able rather than raising standards"
    Is that the reason then?
    A stupid misguided publicity exercise that will simply ultimately hurt the vulnerable because there will be no senior medical doctors to help them in case they breach the limit and hand pitchforks to the mob?

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  • Will Dr Ali Parsa the former investment banker who took over hitchingbrooke with circle health then stepped down when things failed (CQC ratings fell under his watch) and now runs Babylon, and who also sponsored Matt Hancock for a full spread article to promote Babylon have to declare his income? Private sector involvement has risen management costs from the NHS from 5% to 20%. There is NO evidence that privatisation increases productivity in the NHS. Anyone who works for Babylon needs to watch the documentary 'The dirty war on the NHS' by John Pilger. £11Billion of PFI funding to the NHS will cost the tax payer £80 Billion to repay. I think the documentary should be compulsory for all doctors. Anyone who is a critic of babylon will feel very vindicated after watching this. Yet most of us who believe in the NHS are pilloried by those at the top who want to take us towards an american style system. The gloves need to come off and as a profession we need to fight back

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  • For anyone who still believes that Ali PArsa is good for the NHS android for people.... look at this
    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/ournhs/hinchingbrooke-why-did-englands-privatised-hospital-deal-really-collapse/
    Again, will Ali PArsa have to declare his income from Babylon which is a GP service?

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  • Our leaders should be fighting the creeping privatisation, and be blowing the whistle on the corruption at the top.... but they're too busy distracting us with PCNs and other american sized structures..... we need more investigative journalism into the real decisions being made and how they are being made. Nikita Kanani isn't asking the right questions, but thats because she'e been conditioned to deliver us up in a packable format - probably to Bridgewater capital. The 2012 healthcare act is taking the NHS away from the public orientated vocational service to a cash cow to be sucked empty by private equity....yet the GPs are being portrayed in the media by the powers that be as being the problem...... when will we see an RCGP tackle the government with a proper information campaign to educate the voters about whats really going on?????

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  • CK

    I think this will end up like an ASBO , cool to have .

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  • If it has to be declared on the pension return and you are no longer in the pension scheme presumably you’re safe?

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  • "public orientated vocational service" - does that include
    1. religious/cultural circumcisions
    2. until a few years ago, breast implants for 'psychological reasons'?
    3. Full access inc fertility and HIV treatment for 'asylum seekers', 'overstayers', foreign nationals 'applying for residence'?
    4. Personal health budgets?
    5. PCNs that most don't want?
    6. GMC, CQC, RCGP, etc
    7. a bulk contract with unilateral powers by the state to change at a whim?
    8. You happy for your taxes to be spent on all that and more? And to bear all the risks, individual, professional, etc?

    Yeah, no thanks, is what plenty of doctors are saying, and they are voting with their feet, when they can't see any other way to 'reform'.

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