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Outcry as negotiators agree a pay deal for salaried GPs

Non-principals have blasted GP negotiators for recommending 'woefully low' pay rates for salaried GPs in new evidence to the Review Body.

They also accused negotiators of favouring the interests of GP principals after they set the rates at between £45,000 and £68,500 a year, well below what many salaried GPs already earn.

But GP negotiators retaliated by arguing practices could not afford to pay salaried GPs more than their partners.

Dr Vicky Weeks, chair of the GPC's non-principals sub-committee, said the recommendations amounted to a '£15,000 pay cut' for salaried GPs. 'We were not exactly overwhelmed with this.'

She attacked GPC negotiators for not consulting her sub-committee before it submitted the joint evidence with the Department of Health and NHS Confederation. Salaried GPs had wanted the pay rates to be set at the same level as consultants, but the evidence downgrades the scale to the level of associate specialists.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the National Association of Non-Principals, said it was in the interests of principals for salaried GP rates to be set at a low level.

Under the new contract, GMS practices will be able to employ salaried GMS GPs but will have to pay them from their global sum. 'PCTs are currently advertising posts for £75,000 so this recommendation is bringing down the market value of salaried GPs,' Dr Fieldhouse added.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC joint-deputy chair, said negotiators had to balance the interests of principals and non-principals and the recommend- ed rates were a compromise.

'Non-principals would obviously like them made higher and equally employers would have reasons why they would want them to be lower,' he said. 'It would be difficult for a practice employing a non-principal to pay £5,000 to £10,000 more than the principal is getting paid.'

Dr Meldrum said the suggested rates would be uplifted by 11 per cent next year if the contract was voted in and non-principals could negotiate their own deal.

He added: 'These are meant to be the minimum levels that salaried GPs are paid.'

Non-principals condemned GPC negotiators for favouring GP partners as research offered a boost to salaried GPs ­ by Susan McNulty and Rob Gough

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