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Salaried GP pay slumps as survey lifts lid on practice staff wages

By Christian Duffin

Practices have cut salaried GPs' wages by almost 4% over the last year, but bumped up the pay of almost every other employee group including their IT managers, nurses, receptionists, and cleaners, according to a new survey.

The figures emerged from a poll of 120 practices across the UK by the consultancy business First Practice Management and the insurance company Towergate MIA, which shows that salaried GPs are receiving a declining proportion of the practice budget cake.

The survey also found wide variations in hourly rates for salaried GPs, ranging from £30 to £90. In 2010, salaried GPs earned an average of £85,112 – annualised at 38 hours a week – compared to £88,525 in 2009. They earned £70,548 on a nine-sessional basis in 2010, compared to £73,382 in 2009.

First Practice Management general manager Steve Morris said that the results for 2009 in today's survey were skewed by abnormally high hourly rates for salaried GPs at two practices, but even if these are eliminated from the analysis the drop in hourly earnings across the whole sample is still almost 2% when comparing 2009 to 2010.

IT managers saw their average salaries rise from £10.99 to £11.93 an hour over the same period, an 8.5% hike. Senior practice nurses salaries' increased by 2.2% while senior/fully trained receptionists received 3% extra. Cleaners' hourly wages also rose - albeit by a measly 3p an hour.

The analysis also reveals wide variations in pay for salaried GPs – a 66% pay difference between the minimum and maximum, compared to 38% for nursing staff.

Mr Morris said: ‘We are often asked for information from managers on a wide range of practice activity, and setting fair and competitive staff salary levels, in the absence of an NHS scale appropriate to general practice, is one of the hardest jobs.'

'Salary and staffing data are two of our more frequent requests and we are pleased to be able to publish the results of our salary survey to help in the forthcoming spring pay round.'

The lot of salaried GPs was recently highlighted by former sesssional GP Osman Bhatti, now a GP principal in east London. He collected statistics from 23 practices and found that salaried GPs were commonly denied maternity and paternity leave, and that 90 per cent were not entitled to statutory sick pay under their contracts.

Salaried GP pay appears to have slumped - but other practice staff have seen wage increases Salaried GP pay appears to have slumped - but other practice staff have seen wage increases

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