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Average GP earnings rise by nearly 3% as expenses skyrocket, reveals official data

Average earnings across all types of GPs in the UK has increased by nearly 3% in the last year, while expenses have also hit an all-time high, according to the latest official data.

While GP partners saw a 4% salary increase after expenses between 2015/16 and 2016/17 - the largest year-on-year increase in the last 11 years - the proportion of gross earnings taken up by expenses rose to 66%.

GPs were supposed to get a 1% pay uplift after expenses in 2016/17 but GP leaders warned the data surrounding increased earnings should be treated 'cautiously'. 

They said that with GP numbers in decline, the remaining GPs are 'picking up the extra workload and so working longer more intense sessions each day'.

The official publication from NHS Digital, for the year 2016/17, showed the average GP partner earned £105,500 after expenses, compared with £101,300 in 2015/16. Meanwhile, the average income for salaried GPs increased by 1.7% to £56,800.

Across the UK, all GPs experienced an increase in pay in 2016/17. However, Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP Committee chair, told Pulse the data also reveals a 23% pay cut since 2006/7 when the the average earnings across all types of GPs in the UK was £100,676 compared with £92,500 in 2016/17.

Dr Vautrey said the latest figures 'provide signs that the contract agreements we have recently made are starting to deliver for GPs'.

But he added: 'We need to treat this information cautiously as it coincides with a large fall in the number of GPs and, with practices often struggling to find GPs to replace those leaving the practice, it has often meant those GPs remaining picking up the extra workload and so working longer more intense sessions each day.'

Meanwhile, the average total expenses for GP partners in the UK rose by nearly 9% in the last year from £186,900 in 2015/16 to £203,200 in 2016/17.

Dr Vautrey said: 'The expenses to earnings ratio is now at an all time high, and is evidence that practices are both investing in practice staff but also that they are facing huge cost pressures to keep their practices running. This is something the partnership review needs to take in to account.'

The expenses to earnings ratio, which represents the proportion of gross earnings taken up by expenses, was 66% in 2016/17 - an increase of nearly one percentage point since 2015/16.

The report said: 'Since 2005/06, expenses have been increasing at a faster rate than income before tax for GPMS contractor GPs in the UK, resulting in an expenses to earnings ratio which has grown each year since then.'

Last week, offical data revealed that full-time equivalent GP numbers have dropped by 523 since March, with the NHS losing nearly 5,000 GP partners in a decade.

In an effort to make the GP partnerships more attractive, the Government launched a review of the model earlier this year, with the terms of reference stating that it would look into bringing aspects of the locum model to partnerships.

This year, the Government announced that GPs will recieve a 2% pay rise backdated to April, including the 1% pay rise already agreed as part of the contract negotiations.

Readers' comments (17)

  • THIS IS THE USUAL "SPIN" FROM WHITEHALL SPIN DOCTORS AND THEIR STUPID FRIENDS AT THE DAILY NUTTER-EACH TIME THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO NEGOTIATE WITH ANY PROFESSIONAL GROUP THEY ALWAYS HAVE TO RESORT TO PUMPING OUT CRAP IN AN ATTEMPT TO "SOFTEN UP THE ENEMY". THEY ALWAYS USE THE SAME TACTICS-IT IS FRANKLY BORING AND STUPID.

    THE PROBLEM IS IF THEY KEEP ON PI***** OFF GPs THEN THE CRISIS WILL WORSEN BUT INSTEAD OF THINKING ABOUT THE BIGGER PICTURE THEY PROBABLY WASTE HOURS "MAKING SECRET PHONE CALLS TO THE DAILY NUTTER, AGREEING ON HOW TO SLAG OFF GPs".

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  • WHAT IS REALLY SAD IS THAT THE SO CALLED "JOURNALISTS" AT THE DAILY NUTTER ARE PREPARED TO KNOWINGLY WRITE ALL THIS RUBBISH AND FAKE NEWS. HOW THEY SLEEP AT NIGHT, NOBODY KNOWS??

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  • DEAR TABLOID JOURNALIST-BEFORE YOU PEN YOUR PLANNED DAFT ARTICLE FOR THE DAILY NUTTER, LISTEN TO THAT INNER VOICE TELLING YOU IT IS WRONG TO MAKE UP MISLEADING STORIES, TELL YOUR BOSS TO GET STUFFED AND GET A JOB DOING SOMETHING MORE PRODUCTIVE FOR SOCIETY RATHER THAN DAMAGING THE INTERESTS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

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  • The disintegration of the GP workforce will just accelerate this is will not make a jot of difference to what is happening or to what will happen.It has gone past the tipping point,they just do not recognise it yet.

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  • And yet.......
    No increase here in NI cause we ain’t got a government in power to implement the pay rises across the NHS
    Shocking! But entirely expected.

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  • What Now?

    The official publication from NHS Digital, for the year 2016/17, showed the average GP partner earned £105,500 after expenses, compared with £101,300 in 2015/16. Meanwhile, the average income for salaried GPs increased by 1.7% to £56,800.

    So salaried Doctors do the same amount of work sometimes more
    for almost half the pay...

    hmmmm
    food for thought..

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  • @Last man standing you prediction didn’t take long. Read the comments if you want a bit of self flaggelation.

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  • Whoops I forgot to add the “daily nutter” link!http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6114997/Doctors-run-GP-surgeries-earn-111-500-year-patient-satisfaction-time-low.html

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  • Pulse power less....no income isnt related to hours worked just income...this is HMRC data...needs previous years and inflation taken into account otherwise just propaganda

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  • Good it went up. I would not do same amount of work
    For £100 k

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