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Independents' Day

Almost two-thirds of GP practices will see funding boost from new contract

No GP partner in Scotland will earn less than £80,000, as well as measures to reduce workload and protect partners from risk as part of a ‘historic’ new contract in Scotland.

Meanwhile, almost two thirds of GP practices will see their overall funding increase based on a proposed new funding formula.

Around a fifth of GP partners should see a pay rise under the proposals that will also see a £23m funding injection into the GMS contract and all practice expenses - including staff and premises - being funded.

Under the agreement, there is also a commitment that no GP will own their own premises by 2043, while there will be extra funding to ‘significantly reduce the risks to GP partners from providing their own premises making it easier to attract new partners’.

The chair of the BMA’s Scottish GP Committee said that the new contract ‘offers income stability and reduced business risk to individuals’. 

GPs will be able to vote on whether to accept the new contract following a special conference for LMCs on 1 December.

Pulse has already reported on a number of the measures listed in the contract announcement, including:

Also announced in the contract is a two-stage reform of the funding formula. As part of ‘phase 1’, the formula will be changed to give more weight to those practices that look after elderly patients, and those in deprived neighbourhoods.

No practice will lose out as part of this phase. The contract states: ‘A new practice income guarantee will operate to ensure practice income stability. The new funding formula will be accompanied by an additional £23 million investment in GMS to improve services for patients where workload is highest.’

In April 2019, the Government will guarantee that no GP partner earns less than £80,000 per year.

The contract agreement states: ’The contract offer proposes to introduce a new minimum earnings expectation to ensure no GP partner earns less than £80,430 (including pension contributions) NHS income for a whole-time equivalent post from April 2019. Evidence indicates this will benefit approximately one fifth of GP partners in Scotland.’

Under phase 2, due to begin in April 2020, there will be pay progession and a guaranteed income range - similar to that of consultants - and that all expenses will be covered.

There will be a ballot of all GPs before this is implemented, however.

GPC Scotland chair Dr Alan McDevitt said: ’Our aim in these negotiations has been to make general practice sustainable for the future. It was clear that significant change was required to address the increasing workload pressures that colleagues were facing.

’Practices have been struggling to recruit to vacant positions and we have started to see this impact on patient care, with some practices closing their patient lists, handing back responsibility to the health board or in extreme cases having to close altogether.

‘This contract offers solutions to the pressures faced by general practice. By expanding the primary care team and working with integration authorities to improve patient access to services delivered by other professionals, such as, practice nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists, GPs can have more time to concentrate on being GPs.’

He also told Pulse: ’There is a new formula which gives a higher weight to workload, so market force factors are out, rurality is out, and it will be based on deprived patients and elderly patients. 63% of practices gain from that formula change but no one drops as a result of that.’

Readers' comments (33)

  • Hardly a carrot

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  • Not convincing when the daily rate for locum GPs is £600-650 per full day and rising. woeful.Free market economics at work.Lack of supply increasing demand and cost.

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  • 80K for a full time partner, obviously there is no private practice for GP, hardly worth going to medical school now, better you run a restaurant in Glasgow and would earn same or more

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  • deduct 10k for MDU and pension included in 80k

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  • Assuming the "pension contribution" means the employers contibution that means the income would be just over £70000!
    Before Defence subs and expenses

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  • Really is this the best they could do?? I dont know any whole time GPs earning £80K. Who is going to go to medical school and train to be a gp for this salary? Does Alan Mc Devitt think this is a realistic figure?? We get access to treatment rooms though and can get bloods and dressings done.Game changer! What about access to MRIs, Echos, BNP etc. How about the government and their advisors use their imagination. Have we really waited all this time for this rubbish. How about a tax free allowance (up to 20K say) for doctors working out of hours. That would recruit and retain better than this nonsence. How about empowering GPs rather than deskilling. I know what way I will be voting.

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  • You get monkeys when you pay peanuts

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  • Sometimes I think changes have just not been thought through properly. I have not seen the full wording so cannot be 100% clear re if there had been any safeguards to 'prevent' this, but to me:

    Full time means 37 (or 40) hours/ week.
    not the same as 10 sessions or 8 session.

    I fully expect GP to reorganise their time so that they are now working reasonable safe hours (40) safe in the knowledge that their income will be protected. As much as people complain, that will be a significant improvement on the hourly rate of some partners currently earning 100k/ 80 hour week as long as GPs have the will do impose 'full time' properly.

    The problem is that it will make the shortfall of GPs even worse (in the short term). The answer is to change that in to an hourly gross rate (45 GBP/ hour based on 40 hour weeks and 45 weeks/ year) and make sure GPs get that, even if they work 60 or 80 hours/ week.

    That is still not enough though.

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  • The income guarantee is just one part of this package. And yes for many GPs it does not sound a lot but the evidence we got through the recent Deloitte study of Practice accounts showed that a significant number of partners currently received less. So as a start we want to bring them up, and £70k is after practice expenses (which include MDO costs if the Practice pays this) plus the employers superannuation at +14%.
    And if you have access to treatment rooms already that’s good but many GPs don’t so we want universal access as this is a growing area of workload as hospitals shift work out. Access to tests is something that needs dealt with locally. Again some GPs have this already.
    I would encourage you to read the full document and come to the roadshows.
    Pay is part of the solution but so is workload reduction and the ability to spend most of our time doing what we are trained for what we are calling the expert medical generalist. We need to make general practice more attractive - boosting the GP workforce is key.
    Today’s proposal is only part 1 in that process

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  • The elephant in the room is - what is whole time equivalent? 7, 8 or 9 sessions? 40 hours?

    80K for 8 sessions work is 9K per (6 hour) session after indemnity paid.


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