There’s an element of the Government being disingenuous. The 3.4% increase recommended by the DDRB was for a whole raft of things – like organising the practice for commissioning – but the Government have chosen to interpret that report very selectively.
We’ve got a new health minister who wants to be seen to take a hard line and be quite firm with GPs.
The whole thing is pretty sad. GP practices are struggling with funds. GP morale is at the lowest I’ve ever seen it. This will do nothing to improve that situation. I hope Jeremy Hunt gets poorly and has to go and see his struggling GP.
Staff have seen a pay freeze for two to three years. I know it is the same across the public sector, but GPs and their staff are facing a lot of direct patient pressures and they have to cope with cost of living increases.
Inflation is at about 3% so this offer is not even getting close to rise in the cost of living. Effectively, we’re expecting GPs incomes to continue to suffer.
There will be inflation on overheads and there is little sign enhanced services will bring in any more money. CCGs will be looking to reduce costs, and I haven’t spoken to anyone who thinks the QOF changes will be positive for the bank balance, rather than negative.
I can see a 3% to 4% drop in income for GPs.
It’ll be a challenge for a few of them, lots of them will say ‘life is too short’ and they’ll call for their pension. Obviously you can’t do that if you’re 36 years old, but the ones at the top end will be nudged off I imagine.
Bob Senior is chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants and head of medical services at RSM Tenon