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GPs to face 8% rise in GMC fees from April

GPs face paying GMC fees of £420 a year to renew their licence, after the regulator announced a 7.69% increase – the first rise in five years – at its board meeting today.

The rise in GMC fees comes as an Freedom of Information Act request revealed that six senior GMC staff members are paid more annually than Prime Minister David Cameron.

GPs currently have to foot £390 per year for registration with a licence and £140 for registration without a licence. However, that cost has been cut or frozen for the past five years as a result of the ‘challenging times’ being experienced by doctors.

But GP leaders have said that the move to raise the fees is ‘disappointing’, and that ‘every penny counts’ to balance practices’ books.

And the FOI response, obtained by Pulse, reveals that six GMC officials including director of resources and quality assurance Neil Roberts, director of fitness to practise Anthony Omo and director of registration and revalidation Una Lane, all earn more than Mr Cameron’s £142,500 salary.

Meanwhile, chief executive Niall Dickson tops the wage list, earning £225,000.

Other senior GMC figures earning more than the Mr Cameron include director of strategy and communication Paul Buckley, and interim director of education and standards Judith Hulf.

Mr Dickson said at the board meeting today: ‘For five years we have succeeded in cutting or freezing our fees – increased demand now means we need to restore it to the level it was in 2010, if we are to continue to meet our wide-ranging obligations. 

‘These responsibilities have increased substantially in recent years with, for example, the introduction of revalidation and the oversight of postgraduate education.’ 

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said before the increase was confirmed: ‘I think it is disappointing that they are now having to increase them again if that is actually the case. Practices are struggling and every penny counts as far as trying to balance expenses and competing bills that the practices are having to deal with.

‘So whilst in itself it might not seem that significant, all these things start to add up.’

Professor Sir Peter Rubin, chair of the GMC, said about its senior salaries: ‘Senior management team salaries are overseen by the remuneration committee on behalf of Council and published on the GMC website. The remuneration committee takes external specialist advice to ensure that we benchmark our salary levels against comparable organisations.

‘The salaries we offer reflect the fact that the GMC is a high performing organisation operating in a highly competitive environment. We also have to bear in mind that in the past 12 months, two longstanding members of the senior management team have left to work for other organisations as have a number of assistant directors. We need to offer the right salaries to ensure that we continue to recruit and retain high quality senior staff.’

 

 

 

Readers' comments (48)

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    225k for an ex BBC journo who went on to King's Fund
    - whose independent status can hardly be applauded as it accepted 510m from DH. Many of it's suggestions are not aligned with the founding priciples of the NHS

    If I have to take a pay cut to keep my organisation going he should look at how he can save the 8% he wants to run the GMC or take a pay cut.
    Other option is that I'll do his job, I'll do it for the 50% of his salary, scrap revalidation and I'd be getting a pay

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  • CCG Clinical Chief is also in the bracket of 200k ,,,,so what ! we are the plebs and have a no right to question the morality of lawmakers.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Gosh! Moderator is busy!

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  • ha ha ha you are kidding its broken as an organisation Fix it and I will pay your increase when I see an increase in my pay

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  • 55, not intending to work after Christmas.
    To pay or not to pay, that is the question.

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  • What happens if a substantial number of GPs refuse to pay? Perhaps our "union" could start to act in our interest and organise the protest.

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  • GDC subscription also went up recently despite all the fight from dentist. there is no dialogue in NHS: one way rules

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  • Vinci Ho

    Chinese saying,
    Pour sone oil over the fire.
    Considering the anger amongst all medical professionals, primary and secondary care, this is so imbecile .

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  • Vinci Ho

    The honourable thing for these executives to do is , take the lead to reduce their salary by 10%

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  • Maybe the GMC could cut it's £255K spending on private health insurance first:

    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/regulation/gmc-defends-spending-250k-on-private-health-insurance-perk-for-staff/20002606.article#.VIiBPXs72N0

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  • "We need to offer the right salaries to ensure that we continue to recruit and retain high quality senior staff."

    One might also consider the need to recruit and retain high quality doctors and not hit those remaining with this sort of charge. Out of interest, what is the GMC fee supposed to cover?

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  • Remember the GMC does an excellent job. If it receives a malicious letter from a patient saying your smile wasn't big enough they launch an investigation and treat you like s*** - vital for the integriry of the professsion. So it's viital that we pay a large fee for this service. Also to fund their huge pay packets and private health insurance schemes. In fact, I think the fee should be even bigger - £1000 at least so they all get a wonderful salary and even better perks.
    I relinquished my licence in February and will now cancel my registration !!!

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  • The basic role of the GMC is the maintenance of entry onto and removal from the professional register of Licensed medical practice.
    The classical supplemental roles where the advice to the profession on what constitues acceptable standards of practice and the appropriate investigation of allegations of practitioners falling below the standard.
    The delegation of investigation to the medical tribual process, a pervieved lack of pace in investgations, a percieved greater accountability to the general public instead of regulating the profession for the profession do not seem to have been matched by an appropiate debate on to what extent the expansion of role should be funded by the profession and what contribution the public or state should make for the enhanced roles.
    No silly breaching of fee payment, but I would support a call for an independant judicial review into what are "core activities" that should be regulated and paid for by the profession in line with stature , and what are " public value added" activities which i feel should be contributed to by public payment- general taxation or "pay as you play" basis.
    We have introduced a non-refundable deposit for parliamanetary candidates in the universal right to discourage spurious standing for election :Ii believe that sets a very reasonable precedent for the same in formal professional complaint about medical staff.

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  • Why is the moderator not allowing free debate ?.i have just seen a comment that is about to be removed . It offends no one and makes a fair point . What are you scared of?

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  • Good idea, Andrew.

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  • Took Early Retirement

    A clear example of an organization out of control and one which believes itself to be above criticism, and, indeed, above the law. (Look at the cases of Prof Meadow and Dr Southall for starters, and, closer to home for us GPs, Dr Richard Scott of Margate, whose case was found "proved" despite one of the main witnesses not being there to be properly questioned by him or his legal advisors, but allowed to give evidence remotely. )

    It produces "guidance" which is often impossible to follow in real life. (Any GP actually READ what they tell us to do re chaparones? I have.) When this guidance is breached then they can say, "Aha!" Look at all these failing doctors- we must have EVEN CLOSER scrutiny of them." And what organisation does that give more work to? Yup, the GMC. It is a self-perpetuating monster.

    AND DO NOT FORGET: we are STILL awaiting the independent report into the deaths of doctors while under GMC investigation. I am sooo looking forward to that coming out and I hope PULSE is going to do a really good forensic job on it.

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  • So now the truth is out. It's not fat cat GPs but fat cat GMC officials. Perhaps someone should tell the Daily Mail.

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  • It is a shame that we are all being asked to pay money to a shambolic organisation that has made lives very hard for many colleagues, and is (effectively) a branch of the Department of Health staffed by second-raters.

    Look at the number of suicides of colleagues who are under investigation. Does the GMC have anything to say about that?

    Their revalidation crap was the reason I retired at 60, and I now don't pay them a centime.

    (No longer a) Jobbing Doctor.

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  • 6.28
    The same appears to have happened to the BMA and RCGP.

    The GMC juggernaut roles on getting bigger and more and more bloated as it sucks in more and more resources from its 'members'. Despite there being no evidence base behind what it does it grows unabated and unchallenged. Meanwhile doctors retire early and surely are also emigrating due to the most excessive and punitive regulation of doctors in the world while public confidence in doctors is at an all time high.

    An alternative model:

    The state to do this role funded by the tax payer rather than doctors effectively funding the dept of health to do this which is effectively what is happening at present.
    GMC, BMA, MPS/MDU fees spent by doctors to be invested in their own comprehensive legal policies with barrister representation rather than 'advisors' as many have experienced at present. Doctors, hearkcare workers, teachers, policemen to be subject to proper fit for purpose judicial proceedings rather than 'trial by village elder' quangos.

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  • Bit of perspective here guys....
    Inflation is say 3% ish. Five years of inflation equates to a 15.9% increase roughly.
    A 7.69% increase is less than half of inflation - so in essence a drop in fees.
    And it is £30 a year. <10p a day. Or a round of drinks.
    I know morale is bad but I think we can cover
    it....

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  • And thats before tax.

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  • It's only a competitive market because the fat cats want to get fatter and so the "jobs for the boys" salary's continue to rise because the very people who make the decisions are the fat kittens who are the next generation of fat cats waiting to fill the very same positions.

    I think CQC (or some other similar Quango) should be checking GMC and other major "departments" recruiting policy's. They somehow don't seem fair to me. I have never seen the Chief Executive of the GMC's vacancy on the Job Centre Current Vacancies Board. Or in the situations vacant column of the Lancashire Evening Post!!!

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  • 10.45 Nick Taylor

    Agreed the fee rise doesn't look completely outrageous but I think what people are expressing here is that the GMC has outgrown its initial remit, has engaged in some terribly worrying behaviour and is in need of urgent reform.

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  • 10.45 Nick Taylor. I agree we can cover it, but do 6 of their officials really deserve to be paid more than the PM?

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  • Mass non-payment campaign needed!!

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  • The GMC fee was £30 a year when I started in 1983

    It is now almost £400.

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  • Come on folks - let's not get drawn into this "it's not fair, you're paid more than me" tabloid debate. The fact is that many bankers, lawyers, footballers and senior business executives are paid an order of magnitude more than the numbers we're debating in here - and the true rich put another zero or two on the end of that. It's like watching a rabble of second rate pirates fighting over the scraps while the boss walks off with the booty.

    What really matters here is the failure of the government to reverse a wasteful trend that will eventually bankrupt the nation, by which I mean, paying more and more bureaucrats to administer new systems that inhibit the activity of productive people.

    Specifically, I quote: "these responsibilities have increased substantially in recent years with, for example, the introduction of revalidation..." So, let me see ... I'm taking a pay cut in order to fund a system that wastes my time ... the country really is going mad.

    Come on David Cameron, you're supposed to be a Tory. I thought Tories favoured small government and business efficiency? Please, sort it out!

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  • SO GLAD when I retired 1 year ago I decided to stop all registration. The GMC are a self satisfied sanctimonious little club of bullies that have the same principles as Bankers.

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  • Nick Taylor: the outrage is at the sham of an organisation that treats its members very badly (many suicides whilst undergoing GMC investigations), whose members are taking real time pay cuts, and yet the organisation itself are happy to pay many of its board members very large amounts of money.

    The amount of money is trivial. The symbolism it protrays is deeply unpopular

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  • They should be able to do the work that they actually HAVE to do for about £100 per GP per year. They should monitor our registrations and do fitness to practice.

    All the rest is spent on empire building which does not benefit us and we should not have to pay for it. If the government want the GMC to regulate us, revalidate us, advise us, run expensive London offices and employ "top executives" then the Government should sodding well pay for it.

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  • Heavily subsidised hypocrisy
    We are paying handsomely -and what for? to be berated and mistreated by our professional 'regulators'-more like dictators

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  • It must be clarified under the act of freedom to information re the activities membership monies are spent on.
    Members should not be responsible to fund lifestyles of the executives of such organisations.
    If bankers bonuses are under scrutiny, why not GMC executives pay would be ?

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  • They are there to protect the public so why can't the government pay their salaries. I can't see ministers agreeing to the GMC having their noses in the finical trough

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  • Una Coales. Retired NHS GP.

    @4:30 pm, GMC sub renewals are in July. I plan not to renew, which is the easiest way to come off the register.

    @6:53 pm, I am saving an additional £140/y by not asking to remain on the register! Glad to see you have come to your senses. It is not a security blanket to keep paying the GMC!

    It is okay to leave medicine, to retire early, to give yourself permission to work to live not live to work. Happy Christmas! Family first, job second. Medicine is a job, not a vocation that demands complete and utter self sacrifice!

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  • If you want to know where you are heading, just look at the GDC. Dentists (unless the Judicial Review taken out by the BDA is a success) will be paying nearly £900 this year.

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  • Highly competitive environment . There is no alternative provider of GMC services .

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  • Una Coales. Retired NHS GP.

    It's mid December GMC? Where is the promised report on doctor suicides while under investigation? Niall told me it would be out this month.

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  • To see how angry GPs are...
    a) see how many comments there are.
    b) see how many have been moderated.

    I think there will be a QResign Score there somewhere.

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  • CCG chief clinical officers are in the slabs of 200k pa - We probably would need to chuck out the whole bureaucratic top in the government machine and especially in the NHS. This is an example of a purely parasitic relationship because when these people work - they actually seem to do more damage than good

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  • So inflation at 3 % per year ; = a pay cut of 30% over 10 years for us . To keep in line with our remuneration we should pay a third less .

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  • There is an upside.

    The more over regulation and punitive the sanctions, the greater the attrition due to early retirement, emigration, or the booting of doctors off the register (even though research suggests that processes may be legally unsafe - source CIVITAS, GMC Fit to Practice?) those left standing will be able to command higher wages.

    There is no more money. Market forces in the private sector will pay a dcotor more of their worth. Meanwhile, the bureaucrats and politicians (that have never worked in healthcare) that believe anyone off the street can replace GPs have not got the money to p*** up the wall to fund noctor training and recruitment to replace GPs in sufficient numbers. The boom times could well be on the way!

    Have to hand it to the medical profession for putting up with the GMC becoming a tool of he Dept of Health and being forced to pay ever more for the pleasure.

    If the report on doctor suicides is not favourable to the GMC perhaps they will not publish it and hope to get away with it on the basis that it will cost too much in legal expenses to force them to. If the High Court is not an option due to costs (with doctor fees funding the GMC so handsomely the GMC will not have a problem there) don't bank on a Parliamentary Select Committee holding the charity to account either. Unless, Sarah Wollaston could take up the cause. That just might be an option.

    The BMA will just keep banking the money and not do anything either. Or, perhaps the RCGP could do another one of their petitions...

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  • The GDC recently announced an increase in ARF of 67%, which takes it to £945. Out of the kindness of their hearts they have now reduced it to £890.
    The GDC are the worst performing Regulator and are facing a Judicial Review next Monday and an investigation by the PSA. Even a modest (by GDC standards) 8% increase is unwelcome and well outside the Government expected guidelines, I recommend you complain loudly. But you can have a little sympathy for dentists maybe!

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  • Very true..Dentists are treated even worse than doctors...The only way out is to go public for all doctors about over regulation and box ticking. This is the time to shout out loud....how can we gps give quality. The other day I had a 10 minute appointment with a lady who wanted to discuss 6 problems..30 minutes later, I landed up with a complaint from her...I cant cope up with this workload....thinking of australia

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  • All this is too much to fight against . I have left my partnership and feel happy and can sleep at night . The best thing that I have done for years

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  • GMC should be funded by government via tax payers as its there to protect patients from evil doctors .

    the GP and their leaders have no balls they are a group of weak divided and self interested eunuchs.

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