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Independents' Day

NHS England's GP pay claims 'ridiculous' and risk damaging morale, say GPC

NHS England’s suggestion that GP practices should seek to make further efficiencies rather than expect a pay uplift this year undermines claims by its chief executive that NHS managers are looking to boost general practice, the GPC has said.

Responding to NHS England’s evidence to the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration (DDRB), GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said GPs had made all the efficiencies they could without undermining patient care.

NHS England’s submission, published last week, suggested GPs could ‘choose’ to cut expenses by working at scale or employing additional support staff, such as clinical pharmacists, to take on work and increase profits.

It said the DDRB should consider ’what, if any’ funding uplift GPs should be given, further warning that contractor GPs may not pass on any increase to salaried doctors and would thereby exacerbate the crisis in recruitment of salaried GPs. 

But the GPC has slammed NHS England for trying to limit a pay increase for general practice, pointing out its own chief executive Simon Stevens has said the historic underfunding needed addressing.

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘It is ridiculous for NHS England to suggest that GPs should be seeking to find further efficiencies when many practices are badly overstretched as a direct result of years of underinvestment.

‘This suggestion undermines what Simon Stevens himself has been saying about the need to address this longstanding underinvestment in general practice. The fact that GP incomes have fallen year on year, with evidence of a 25% cut in real terms GP incomes since 2005/06, is clear evidence that practices have made all the efficiencies that are reasonably possible without putting patient care at risk.

‘NHS England should be recognising this difficult financial climate rather than pushing ahead with suggestions that will further damage morale and its own efforts to remedy the recruitment and retention crisis facing the GP workforce.’

This follows health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s remarks at the Conservative party conference this year, that ‘successive governments’ had refused to invest in general practice as ‘penance’ for the 2004 GMS contract.


Readers' comments (24)

  • Too late morale couldn't be much lower.The only thing that has lifted my morale over the last year or two is the heroic stand of the juniors against these tyrants.

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  • Let's predict more destabilsing headlines to come such as :
    "CQC decides to conduct inspections unannounced"
    " Plan to make practices pay registrar's salary goes ahead"
    "GPs must now pay for their appraisals"
    "GMC warns GPs not to close their practices"
    "All patients to get legal aid if they think they are a victim of GP's delayed diagnosis."

    etc etc etc until you realise that this is not a war we are ever going to win- that there is no unified genuine understanding or support for primary care anywhere in this government or in the department of health.

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  • i'd need a 100% uplift to stay in this country.

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  • just locum

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  • What is BMA doing?

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  • Perhaps I could improve my 'productivity' by giving all patients 1 year of medication at a time.
    That will reduce my workload!

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  • NHSE pay claims risk damaging morale say GPC... seriously? Is that the response.

    I can't even be bothered to moan about this job anymore. I just want to get out asap.

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  • They cut funding, we cut appointments. We don't have unlimited access phone triage or other fad stressors. I'm still very happy.

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  • Reduce the work to fit the pay. Perhaps the BMA could do something useful and give us some guidance on what the government might expect for the allotted resouces . as in " pay for Bronze ,get Bronze mate."

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  • HMG pays for a Bacofoil service and expects gold.

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