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Time for a new nGMS contract?

The nGMS contract has been slowly but surely ripped apart. It is becoming difficult to recognise any of its important original characteristics.

Here are some examples:

  • Pension contributions have been increased and linked to inflation.
  • After an initial pay rise, which lasted about 18 months, there has been no rise for three years and a drop in income of about 10-15% for many GPs.
  • The current pay rise will be presented as a victory by the GPC negotiators given the current economic climate - but they did nothing when the economy was doing well.
  • The terms of performance-related pay are worse than in the old GMS contract as payments are linked to minimum targets, the levels of which are being regularly raised.
  • The Department of Health's formula for paying GPs is now so complicated I wonder if ministers themselves understand it or whether it is just a mechanism designed not to have to pay out.
  • GPC negotiators have agreed to patients' comments being posted online.

So, is it time perhaps for a new nGMS contract?

From Dr Virender Bassi, Stalybridge, Greater Manchester

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