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Hunt makes no promises to follow review body recommendation on GP pay

The health secretary has refused to commit to following the independent pay review body’s recommendation over GP pay in an exclusive interview with Pulse.

The Department of Health has told Pulse that a decision on GPs’ pay for 2014/15 is expected imminently, but GPs may face a below inflation rise after Jeremy Hunt failed to give a committment that he would follow the recommendations of the independent Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB).

This follows last year’s process, when the Department of Health rejected the DDRB’s recommendation of a 2.29% pay rise to cover expenses and gave practices a 1.32% uplift in funding.

When asked by Pulse whether he was ‘able to make any commitment that you might follow [the DDRB recommendation] this year’, Mr Hunt replied: ‘I have to see what they say - I’ve made my case to them but I do have to see what they say.’

The BMA has called for GPs to receive an inflationary pay rise at minimum, but NHS England said in its submission to the DDRB in September that any increase will need to be within the pay remit set by ministers ‘of up to 1%’.

Last year, the Government had initially offered GPs a 1.5% uplift for 2013/14 in return for accepting a range of non-negotiated changes to the GP contract - terms which ended up being imposed after the GPC refused them.

These terms included a number of stringent QOF targets, many of which are set to be relaxed for 2014/15 in order to enable Mr Hunt’s ‘named GP’ policy.

A DH spokesperson told Pulse: ‘We expect the recommendation to come through either late February or early March. It will be a Government decision, once we have carefully considered the recommendation.

Readers' comments (28)

  • A below inflation pay "rise " is a pay cut . For a pay freeze with regard to 2004 we need a + 30 % adjustment . Inflation is a stealth tax.

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  • What's the point of having a review body with the sole purpose of being ignored?

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  • The first shot across the bows is a refusal to pay for CQC . The second shot is no revalidation . The broadside is no OOH work.

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  • As to our capability to become militant - it doesn't exist.There are too many part time GP's and locums who are happy to pick up whatever work they can. They have no interest in the long term survival of general practice.

    I think partnerships who are locked into contracts with community health centres or similar premises will find the world looking increasingly bleak unfortunately.

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  • I've forgotten - how much of a pay rise are MPs getting? Is it under 1%?

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  • Over perform on cancer target referrals. Already there is evidence that GP`s are referring more into the 2WW system and the system is struggling to cope. I suspect the the pressure on GP`s to diagnose cancer early has led to same.
    CCG leads don't have to worry as this comes out of NHSE budget!
    Walk out of NHS over care.data as we will have patient and press support on that one. Never strike for pay rise-won`t get it and we will only lose patients goodwill (or what's left of it).

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  • What ever he does he wont be able to buck the market trend(reruitment crisis).He will go down in history as the man who destroyed General Practice.

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  • Independent review body should be binding
    If you are effectively a monopoly employer

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  • 3:34
    I am a part-time GP in her 50s who would love to work more but fear burn out. Exit strategy planned for in the next 4 years if not before. Don't tar us with the same brush. We all work as we do for our own individual reasons. I agree our profession needs to be more militant as a collective but I don't see this happening from ourselves or our leaders.

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  • 5:47pm

    Isn't that the point, people work for their own reasons. You can only speak with one voice if you share a common aim. with a fragmented GP workforce that'll will never be possible. There are too many divisions to have a unified voice

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