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GPs won't be forced to reveal individual pay as part of contract deal

GPs will not be expected to publish their individual earnings as part of new transparency measures included in the GP contract deal, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The wide-ranging contract agreement announced earlier today including a commitment for the GPC to join a working group with NHS England and NHS Employers to develop proposals on how to publish information on GPs’ net earnings relating to the GP contract from 2015/16.

Coverage of the commitment had led to fears that GPs would be forced to publish their personal earnings, with Jeremy Hunt telling the Times that ‘the public will know what salaries GPs are taking home for NHS work’, and the wording of the agreement unclear as to exactly what would be covered.

But when pressed by Pulse as to whether Jeremy Hunt intended individual GPs’ earnings to be published, a Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘He wants to see an average salary across the practice’.

The BMA and DH have formed a working group to hammer out details of exactly how the payment will be measured and weighted to make it comparable to other healthcare professions.

GPC negotiator Dr Beth McCarron-Nash told Pulse: ‘What we’ve agreed to is a working group to look at publication of NHS earnings in relation to a central contract, comparable to other NHS staff.’

‘So we’ve not agreed to show each individual’s earnings. That’s not what Jeremy Hunt’s said this morning, but that actually is what’s written in the contract.’

‘I think that when you are negotiating with any monopoly employer, then obviously the bottom line is, it’s often up to them if they want to impose a change - and that’s what we saw last year. He has seen the terrible effect that that’s had on GP morale and the fact that if you impose anything on anyone, without good will, then you lose the whole workforce.

Dr Mike Ingram, GPC member and a GP in Radlett, Hertfordshire, told Pulse that negotiation over what exactly was published was key.

‘The thing is we’re not employees, so a GP’s “profit”, that is the profit of a practice divided by the number of partners, does not give you a real figure. Because you might plough it back in. You’ve got all the expensive investments, and also some of that is rent, some is your ownership of the property. It doesn’t relate to your activities, doing general practice.’

He added: ‘What it comes down to is “how much is a GP earning from their basic NHS contract work”? That’s number one. Number two, once we’ve got that it has to be made comparable with other people in the public sector, it’s got to be weighted and agreed that it’s comparable.’

‘Unless that’s agreed, in a form which is an acceptable comparison, then I don’t think things will progress.’

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Readers' comments (28)

  • Just 'gut up' and leave the NHS. I did 3 years ago and am amazed (an horrified) that so few GPs have done the same. Think of your families for goodness sake...

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  • it is disheartening that things should come to this. Will publishing GP's pay help remedy our ailing NHS or is this just a political gimmick. As a profession we are a soft touch and year on year are taking a battering. It is a shame we are not all in banking industry where you are rewarded for crippling the country. What a shame !!!

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  • it seems enough of us are ready to leave ...

    it would be great if PULSE could start featuring some articles on becoming private practices or alternative primary care models?

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  • i don't mind revealing my pay as it it no where near what the media reports doctors pay is.

    why don't we reveal our hourly rates as this is a good comparison to other professionals e.g. solicitors etc

    the public would be shocked to see how much we get for visits for example.

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  • the locum rate for a visit is about £20 - that's a lower call out charge for an emergency plumber, electrician etc

    and if you do something wrong you will get 100% of the blame and fall back.

    some visits can last an hour if it is a difficult case / ill patient / hospital admission and you never get any thanks for it.

    it isn't worth it anymore - financially or emotionally. patients just seem to complain for the sake of it and one thinks why bother. do the right thing 'you are just doing your job' , get something wrong you are incompetent. in that case just pay us properly for it !

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  • Why not reveal what doctors are paid?
    Give the public a reality check!
    David Beckham got paid millions to kick a ball around a field, with lots of time to spend with his family, the ability to buy more than one home, have holidays, and be with his family.
    GP's get paid peanuts to dance to the tune of the NHS. GP's also have families, some may be single parents, some never get to have a holiday, and many are at breaking point trying to meet demands made on them.

    A nice round figure sounds great, but when revealing pay, don't forget to include tax & insurances, what GP's have to pay for out of their pittance, after deductions and costs of their practice, it is not easy to survive on what is left.
    A GP's real salary is what is left after he / she has paid all the bills … nothing like what we are told they get!

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  • This is asking for too much from hard working force - GPs. It will discourage and not motivate valuable human capital resources of GPs. Agree with some comments made here by the professionals. They WON'T be able to be responsible for those over 75
    24hrs, that's nanny's jobs.
    It's not fair to reveal their salaries either. Can the individuals in the public judge it properly without knowing the backgrounds, individual inputs from the whole career path, lengthy study period for qualifications, expenses in the practices, insurance costs, all of vary responsibilities and long working hours during the week and weekends, not everybody would like to take such a role in the society. If highly paid, they deserve it.
    Wake up to treasure this group of professionals. Some people just be jealous.

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  • GPs won't be able to take the 24hrs responsibilities over 75yrs. This is not reasonable and not being realistic in daily lives in the real world.
    It's not fair for them to reveal the salaries either. Why some people target them to set the strict rules. They are hard working professionals with long hours during the week and weekends. They deserved out-of-hour rest with their families just as everybody else for human rights. They have already had lengthy training and worked hard for qualifications and costs of insurance to pay. A society should treasure this group of professionals being valuable work force.

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