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GPs go forth

Hunt rejects DDRB recommendations and gives practices 1.32% funding uplift from April

GP practices are facing a real terms cut in pay this year, after the Department of Health rejected a recommendation from the doctors’ pay review body for a 2.29% pay rise to cover expenses and said practices would only receive a 1.32% uplift in funding from April.

The offer is less than the Government’s initial offer last year of 1.5%, and falls far short of the recommended 2.29% rise for GMS practices in England from the DDRB in its report to the Government.

The details were revealed in a written statement by health secretary Jeremy Hunt today that said while he accepted the recommendations from the pay review body on the rise in pay for salaried doctors and dentists, he would not honour their recommendations of a 3.4% uplift to GP funding to cover expenses.

The DH said that they will announce shortly how the uplift is to be allocated to practices, although it has already said it is looking at how to target it towards lower-funded practices.

Mr Hunt said: ‘I am grateful to the chair and members of the DDRB for their report.

‘We welcome the 41st report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration and note its observations and accept the recommendation of a 1% increase in GP pay but abate the recommended allowance for GP practice staff costs from 3.4% to 1% to reflect public sector pay policy, giving an overall increase in GMS payments of 1.32% rather than the 2.29% recommended by the DDRB.

‘We will take forward DDRB’s suggested actions, which will help us continue to improve our support for the DDRB’s important work.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘We are clear that it is unfair for any NHS staff to be paid more than the one per cent increase given to all public sector workers. GP practices are independent businesses and free to set staff pay levels as they see fit. 

‘We are committed to making sure pay increases are fair and consistent across the NHS and will announce how the 1.3% contract uplift will be allocated shortly.’

Dr Robert Morley, executive secretary of Birmingham LMC, warned the additional funding would not be sufficient for practices to maintain current service levels.

He said: ‘As I wrote in an article for Pulse a few months ago, general practice would need a minimum 10% uplifit just to stand still. And at was before the imposition.

‘I suspect practices will be unable to maintain current services because of difficulties with recruitment and retention of GPs, nurses and other staff.

‘GPs will prioritise patient safety so patients will have to expect significantly reduced access for non-urgent care and enormous reductions in the depth and breadth of services offered by their practices as these are the only safety valves we have. There will inevitably be a knock on effect on secondary care so total NHS costs will increase accordingly.’

Dr Peter Swinyard, chair of the Family Doctor Association, said: ‘They have had a DDRB recommendation that they clearly didn’t like and decided to cut it back.’

Pulse Live: 30 April - 1 May, Birmingham

Pulse Live

What are the six key threats to our practice in 2013? Find out at Pulse Live, our new two-day annual conference for GPs, practice managers and primary care managers.

Pulse Live offers practical advice on key clinical and practice business topics, as well as an opportunity to debate the future of the profession, and a top range of speakers includes NICE chair designate Professor David Haslam, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey and the Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell MP, chair of the House of Commons health committee.

To find out more and book your place, please click here.


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  • Jeremy Hunt - online

Readers' comments (20)

  • Inflation around 3%

    Therefore paycut of around 1.5% again!


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  • I would imagine this announcement will soon be followed by the imposistion of the new contract of General Practice.

    Daily Mail to read ' Not only are these lazy so called doctors getting an above average pay rise they don't even accept working for it'

    Retiring soon

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  • And this so called payrise will be offset by the reduction in MPIG so we wont actually see an increase

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  • yes new contract on the way ,cash flow problems due to QOF changes by feb 2014 , I'm off too, good luck though .

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  • Salaries falling in real terms again. Workload shifting to primary care while the workforce is shifting to secondary care. GP's will be unable to cope due to workload, retirements, and illness due to overwork / stress of the few remaining standing. Brilliant strategy of the government. Obvious goal: Privatise primary care and blame the GP's for it. Another result for true tory "The NHS is safe in my hands" Cameron.

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  • Gary Young


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  • Gary Young

    PS: I consider my avatar both unsuitable and offensive. David Cameron should be removed forthwith.

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  • Time fro GPC to haev some meatl
    Go slow on amerons Falgship- Comissioning.

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  • Hooray...
    30k cut in qof next year for average practice, 1.5% cut in staff pay and expenses.

    the goverment ust be congartulated. I hope teh MPs do vote for pay cut for themselves.

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  • Whilst this may be welcome, it is a bribe to stop everyone opposing the new tendering/competition regulations for commissioning. Lord Howe says he's listened again and has made amendments. But with the onus on commissioners to prove that for example the status quo is best for patients, so he hasn't really changed anything and anyway how much extra time will this 'proof' take.

    Don't let these people destroy general practice.

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