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Practices must provide hard copies of GP earnings information

Exclusive GPs must put up posters or have handouts available showing their practice income for patients who cannot access the practice website, NHS England and the GPC have said.

From April 2016, practices will have to have earnings information available online which gives the net, pre-tax earnings for an average GP in the practice, as well as the number of GPs currently working there for the previous financial year. This calculation only includes contractual income from NHS England, CCGs and local authorities.

But the GPC and NHS England have told Pulse that there will also have to be provision for hard copies of information to be made available for interested parties without access to the internet.

Publishing GP pay was included in the 2014/15 GP contract as part of a transparency drive to bring GP earnings in line with directly employed parts of the health service.

Negotiations over how GP expenses and earnings from non-contractual sources could be represented fairly have been ongoing, but the 2015/16 contract deal will push on with NHS England’s ambition to publish individual GPs’ pay from April 2016.

The 2014/15 contract stated that information abour practice funding would have to be made available online.

But the GPC and NHS England have confirmed practices will need to make information available for patients without access to the internet.

Speaking at the Pulse Live 2015 conference last week, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘If somebody can’t access the internet practices will have to give the option of a hard copy, of giving them some kind of handout.’

An NHS England spokesperson also told Pulse: ‘The joint guidance from NHS Employers, NHS England and the GPC on the implementation of this year’s GP contract changes is not yet published, and will come out later this week.  However, the intent isn’t to be prescriptive on how GP practices provide pay information when requested in hard copy, so the guidance is likely to acknowledge it could be a paper copy, on a poster or by showing the patient the information posted on the practice website.’

The Health and Social Care Information Centre released the first publication of GP earnings in February, revealing that the cost of a GP for a whole year to the taxpayer was £136 per patient, which is less than a basic Sky TV subscription.

The GPC, which has reluctantly agreed to the publication, has warned it will not be useful or informative to patients. Opponents have also argued that it is a breach of GPs’ privacy.

Proponents of the publication, agreed in principle under the 2014/15 GMS contract, have argued that publishing individual pay would be helpful for GPs to prove a decline in net income after pension contributions and medical indemnity cover.

Please note - this article originally said that practice earnings will need to be published in hard copies from April 2015. This was not correct, and the article was changed at 17:00 on 24 March 2015 to reflect it will be a requirement from April 2016.

Readers' comments (55)

  • This is just beyond reason, what other profession has to do this.

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  • "The GPC, which has reluctantly agreed to the publication"

    What on earth is the point of the GPC? Has any union ever been so lily-livered?

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • I dont know how GP partners are putting up with this. Its humiliating. The government trying to turn public against us by letting them know we earn more than them.
    Hasnt anyone told them its vulgar to talk about money or havent they heard the phrase mind your own business.
    Its embarassing that peoiple are putting up with this rather than just refusing. I would literally resign over principle. Not because I care if perople know my earnings but because I was being forced to share my own private business.
    The terms and conditions of the GP contreact are a joke and eveyone is laughing at GPs.

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  • the GPC is very well respected and suported by GPs. it is democratic and members are elected. they represent GPs even if they are not members of the BMA.

    my own opinion and understanding is that their key goal is not to rock the boat and ensure that whatever happens the GPC and BMA survives - all other considerations are secondary. the profession is expendable as the NHS can survive without GPs.

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  • could they just mail shot all the patients on the list with all this important 'clinically' relevant information (GPs pay)?

    alternatively i demand to know why the daily mail has not got a handy drop down list so you can locate your GPs pay - you know 'type in your post code to find out how much your GP gets paid'. standards are slipping on that paper. it's been ages since they had a negative gp story :(

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  • Have a handout ready though state in it Jeremy hunt's pay and other income, What a lawyer, dentist and pharmacist can earn, and average family practice pay in America.

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  • John Glasspool

    Why don't GPs just say "no". They can't all go to prison.

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  • Anyone up for refusing to do it?- and then when notice is served ensure it gets out for patients to know why?
    No other proffesion would put up with this. None of my friends who are consultants would tell me how much they earn, nor would my accountant. Its childish spite by NHSE & CONSDEM. Patientswith a grip on reality will be either, shocked at how little we earn, whilst those who read the Daily Wail will tut at how much we earn. Either way we can`t win.Yet again another reason not to be a GP.

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  • This is bonkers! I think most patients will think it's plain bizarre to have a poster up with the doctors' earnings on! Is this going to happen to all public sector workers?!

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  • anon 4.39 'the government is trying to turn the public against us by telling them we earn more than them' !! Cat out of the bag?! Can't see many people asking for a hard copy - how would that work....so many posts compare the pay with that of especially plumbers for some reason.so why shouldn't plumbers know what GPs earn..keeping pay private has led to a lot of exploitation of other groups including women still by the way

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