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The waiting game

Sorry Mr Hancock, but 2% 'pay rises' won't boost recruitment

Editor’s blog

I almost felt sorry for Matt Hancock. His first substantive task as health secretary was to announce a disappointing 2% ‘pay rise’ for GPs.

This pay award was half of that recommended by the DDRB, eliciting understandably angry responses from GP leaders.

The reason for my sympathy is that I don’t for a second think he had any say in this. I’m sure the decision was made before his tenure, and it was probably made by the Treasury, anyhow. It’s not the best way to kick off your time in post.

However, this sympathy quickly dissipated when I read his justification for the award. He said: ’GPs face a significant challenge in numbers and we need to recruit large numbers over a short period, meaning any pay rise needs to be balanced against our aim for a growing number of practitioners.’

Yes, you read that right.

Now, any sensible person would look at general practice over the past few years and realise that we are losing GPs. They would also posit that one of the reasons for this is that pay awards haven’t been sufficient. So why on earth are we going to see an influx of GPs now? Were they all staying away from general practice because of the high earnings, and have now been convinced to join the profession because they are happier with a below-inflation pay award?

I’ve argued on these pages that it’s not just resources that will attract younger GPs. But if you think you’re going to successfully increase recruitment with below-inflation pay rises, you might need to reconsider your priorities.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Brilliant,

    In our surgery, like many others, it takes a long time to get through first thing in the morning.

    I didn't realise it was correct to half the pay of all the reception staff so that we can hire more receptionists. I might go and tell them now and see what they say.

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    According to Matt
    Apps mean that we do not need physical Doctors..
    So hopefully we can all just go and take a running jump..
    When the doc on the other end is based in another country..
    How will the GMC apply there more stringent policies ?

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    In any independent business the partner set there own pay rates
    ring fence and if the funding does not cover other things then stop doing that which is not funded
    Every failed huge IT project in the NHS
    (Summary care record ??)
    The IT contractors RING FENCE THEIR PAY
    Then when it collapse and billions have been lost..(Syphoned away)
    they just toddle away
    and everyone forgets

    I wonder if management consultants
    got a pay rise ??

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    p.s its a 2% pay cut (next to inflation)
    reduced pay.. reduced work

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  • Below-inflation pay award + high-risk clinical job + threat of manslaughter charges = Me leaving GP training

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