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GP practices to receive 0.28% funding uplift from April

GP practices will receive a 0.28% increase in net funding from April, after the Government accepted advice from the pay review body that falling staff costs should be taken into account when giving GPs a 1% rise in income.

Government accepted the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration’s recommendation of a 1% overall increase in GP income.

But the DDRB also said that a 1.4% drop in staff costs meant that only a 0.28% uplift in practice funding, administed via the global sum, was needed to achieve this increase in GP pay.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘We thank the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration for its 42nd report, note its recommendations and observations, and - in respect of General Medical Practitioners (GMPs), we accept its recommendation for an increase of 1% to general medical practitioners’ income after allowing for movement in their expenses, equating to an uplift of 0.28% to the overall value of general medical services contract payments for 2014-15.’

He added: ‘The DDRB’s recommendations for a 1% consolidated rise for all staff, on top of automatic increments, are unaffordable and would risk the quality of patient care. Without a pay rise, incremental pay increases already commit nearly £1billion every year for all NHS employees and add 2% each year to the NHS pay bill for employed doctors and dentists. The DDRB proposals suggest a pay rise that would risk reductions in front line staff that could lead to unsafe patient care. It is not possible to maintain appropriate numbers of front line staff, give a general pay rise of 1% and pay for incremental progression.’

How the 1% funding rise was calculated

Income: +1% rise (contribution to uplift: +0.43%)

Staff costs: -1.4% (contribution to uplift: -0.58%)

Other costs: +2.7% (contribution to uplift: 0.43%)

TOTAL UPLIFT: 0.28%

Source: DDRB

‘The Government is therefore adopting an approach by which all staff will receive at least an additional 1% of their basic pay next year. All staff who are not eligible to receive incremental pay will be given a 1% non-consolidated payment in 2014/15. Other staff will receive an increase of at least 1% through incremental progression.’

‘It is our intention that in 2015/16 the same approach will apply and staff who are not eligible to receive incremental pay will receive a non-consolidated payment of 2% of pay, whilst other staff receive incremental progression. As this will be a two year pay award, the DDRB will not be asked to make recommendations on a pay award for employed doctors and dentists in the 2015 pay round.’

However the GPC argued that the calculation was flawed.

GPC negotiator Dr Peter Holden said: ‘This is yet again GPs subsidising the NHS out of their own pocket. That is not right – that is emotional blackmail. It is completely unacceptable. Nobody disputes the economic circumstances but if we are to have a 1% increase, unless that is manifested in a 1% increase in our pockets, and in our taxable pay, then that is not a 1% increase.’

‘I don’t understand where they get the overall staff costs falling from. My concern is that there are a large number of overheads that we are now meeting that we have never met before, or that were completely reimbursed before, and that is going to impact on things. I think we are about to see a major problem over premises reimbursement and over waste reimbursement and those items alone will take thousands off a GP’s profit line.’

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Today’s announcement from the Government on doctors’ pay is a kick in the teeth for GPs at a time when there is overwhelming evidence that GP workload is escalating to an unsustainable level while resources are continuing to fall in real terms.’

‘It beggars belief to suggest that an 0.28% uplift in the GP contract will translate into a 1% increase in GP pay at a time when expenses are projected to continue to accelerate. This decision fails to recognise the expanding role and workload in general practice that shows no signs of abating.’

The GPC view was supported, in part, by the DDRB itself, whose report included an attack on the formula-based approach to GP pay recommendations, which it said was ‘flawed’ and did not effectively reflect staffing costs, expenses and reimbursements, hours worked or variations in correction factor or the QOF.

The report said: ‘[W]e have serious reservations about continuing to make recommendations using the existing flawed formula-based approach. If the parties wish us to continue with making recommendations using a formula-based approach, then we believe that they should: …agree appropriate coefficients to represent staff costs;… provide a comprehensive list of all expenses and reimbursements;… consider how we should take account of variations in correction factor payments and scores against QOF; [and] provide data on the distribution of the number of hours worked, including the mean and median.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘We are committed to investing in primary care and as part of our ambitious changes to the GP contract there will be a reduction of more than a third of the QOF, allowing money GPs currently earn from these targets to be pumped in to overall primary care budgets and a new enhanced service.’

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Readers' comments (68)

  • Why is this called an "uplift " surely the DDRB understand inflation . The US "prints " $ 75 bn per month which is starting to feed through to inflation. Finding out the true rate is almost impossible - but a realistic estimate is 3.2 % . Lets call this pay award - a 3% cut in wages . No OOH for 4 weeks . That might wake them up .

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  • the logical response now that we do not have to do peer review for the QOF is to withdraw from CCG work it is the tory flagship policy and is largely unfunded also CCGs are now turning into PCTs aka Orwells Animal Farm and putting nothing into primary care

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  • This will be put out to the public as a pay rise; a public whose knowledge of simple arithmetic is so poor they will swallow the lie wholesale. Is there anyone on the GPC who can draw a simple graphic picture for public display to demonstrate why this is yet another pay cut along with being an inevitable cut in NHS services?

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  • Our practice had to let 4 sessional GPs go because we simply could not afford the costs. So, yes the staff costs did reduce, but the workload hasn't. The replacement is one GP partner. So, we replaced 3.5 sessional GPs with 1 GP and the government thinks that's a good thing? I wonder what the patients think.... I already know, they told me this morning!

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  • The public are being "conned"......
    They are being brain-washed to hate GPs-rather like governments brainwashed populations in the 1930s.
    We are getting endless abuse and harrasement, being blamed for all of societies ills, being told we are greedy and evil. Veiled threats. Where does it all end??
    I am waiting for Jeremy Hunt's "final solution to the GP problem"..............

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  • I would not be surprised if Jeremy Hunt isn't inviting his "dear friend" Paul Dacre (Daily Mail) out to The Dorchester club, no doubt. Quaffing over Chateau Lafite and pondering how best to finish off those pesky GPs while celebrating their multi-millionaire lifestyles. The propaganda is working...fear is taking hold and hatred of GPs too! Wonderful!

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  • I heard that Paul Dacre had set his sights on a medical student at Leeds University but was firmly rebuffed . Could this be the source of his hostility ?

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  • Rachael Mackay

    We would like to know how many more “anonymous 11.25am's “ there are. Is it any wonder that there is a recruitment crisis!

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  • How is this going to entice medical students into general practice? - ITS ANOTHER PAY CUT YOU EFFING IDIOTS

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  • Well done, mr hunt???
    Don't have any problem for paying uplift to mp's who are stealing from public fund and also to bank executives although they are in loss, but NOT to GPs who are giving their everything for the survival and for the patient care.
    Great.... Making your party to loose next general election??? Fantastic idea ..... Keep going. We all are waiting to exercise our vote very soon... Well done

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