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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP partner pay down by 25% over the past decade

The latest official figures reveal GP pay has fallen yet again, with salaried GPs paid little more than physician associates, finds Jaimie Kaffash

GP partners’ earnings fell for the eighth year in a row, while salaried GPs earned just 9% more than physician associates, new official figures reveal.

The annual GP Earnings and Expenses 2013/14 report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre shows GP partners’ pay fell by 2.2% to £99,800 before tax and employers’ superannuation costs, having decreased in each of the past eight years. In real terms, this represents a decrease of 25% since 2005/06.

The average income for a salaried GP was £54,600, whereas US physician associates have recently been offered a salary of £50,000 to work in the UK.

GP leaders said it was ‘no wonder’ young doctors are shunning general practice.

The figures are the first since the imposition of the 2013/14 contract, which phased out MPIG payments, increased QOF thresholds and ended the QOF organisational domain, worth £164m for practices. In the same year, the Government awarded a 1.3% funding uplift, after rejecting the pay review body’s recommendation of 2.29%.

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chair, said the figures provided ‘yet more evidence of the growing financial pressures faced by general practice’.  

He added: ‘With two-thirds of a practice’s income going on the rising costs of keeping the practice afloat, there is nothing left to develop effective services to meet patients’ growing needs.

‘GPs now have to cope with another year of real-terms cuts, despite working harder than ever before. It’s no wonder young doctors are shunning becoming a GP and practices cannot recruit new GPs.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘GPs are the bedrock of our health service and we want them to be properly rewarded. The average GP earns almost £100,000 and they’re free to decide how money should be invested in services.

‘Our “new deal” for GPs will see 5,000 more doctors in general practice and £1bn spent on improving facilities. On top of this we’re backing the NHS’s own plan for the health service with an extra £8bn a year by 2020 — this plan sees more investment in primary care.’

Pulse revealed earlier this year that GP partner take-home pay fell by almost 6% from April to June, despite ministers’ claims that GPs were given a 1% funding rise with the 2015/16 contract.

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Readers' comments (12)

  • What the f@ck??!! Salaried GPs that work for 54 thousand a year deserve all the crap they get. Partners working hard for peanuts should also hang their heads in shame. Work to rule and the rest will follow. It is not rocket science.

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  • "A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘GPs are the bedrock of our health service and we want them to be properly rewarded. The average GP earns almost £100,000 and they’re free to decide how money should be invested in services."

    DoH spokesperson is clearly confused (no surprise there then?)

    GP earnings are GP's earnings. This money is not to be invested in services but is the pay reward for the GP's hard work over the year!

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  • I love the way the DoH talks about GP earnings as though that is what they actually take home.
    After Tax [everyone pays that] pension contributions [higher than almost anyone else for later and less pension] and something that no one else pays out of their earnings when the earnings are decided by the government-professional indemnity. Add to that permanent health insurance and locum insurance because no sick pay and if you are off sick you HAVE to cover your work at your own expense.
    Why on earth do you do it????????

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  • Cheap labour covering all walks of social care and medicine. Pay your indemnity for the privilege also.

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  • Azeem Majeed

    Are the statistics for salaried GPs for someone who works full-time? In my locality, salaried GPs are typically paid £8K-£9K per session, which would equate to £64K-£72K for a salaried GP who worked 8 sessions per week.

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  • Physicians assistants are being trained in large numbers, and will exert further downward pressure on salaried GP's and Trainee's wages in the future.
    The RCGP ambition to see us all salaried and for ever longer "training" will ensure that no-one with ambition will ever choose GP in the future.

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  • Old news.

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  • Just resigned - have not had a pay rise for 10 years but working more intensively and for longer hours than is reasonable. I would be very interested to know year on year statistics for the number of resignations. What on earth is the government going to do about it? They are clearly in complete denial at present.

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  • And now the GMC are making it more difficult and expensive to remain registered/return after retirement....the MDUs are making it more expensive to do locum and OOH work....
    ....so I wonder why we have a recruitment/retention and staffing precipice fast approaching?

    If the Sec of State really wants to kill off General Practice he could not have organised it better.

    ...the NHS and particularly patients will suffer

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  • I agree figures quoted are confusing- are these average earnings overall or for a Full Time Equivalent? Be that as it may, by definition 'average earnings' means many will be earning (well) below average. Similar figures released in past years included a few extremely high earners which skews the 'average' upwards. In addition many high earners will be working up to 9 clinical sessions per week, which is far more than most partners I know feel is possible or realistic to work, given rising clinical & non clinical workloads, if one is to retain any semblance of a work life balance (even a so called part-time partner can easily work 60-70 hours per week as I have done).

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