The health secretary has agreed to delay the requirement for GPs to declare earnings above £150k, the BMA’s outgoing GP Committee chair has announced.
Eligible GPs had been given until 12 November to disclose their earnings from last year if they are £150,000 or more after the annual declaration became a legal requirement in September.
But in a tweet shared last night, Dr Richard Vautrey said it is ‘good to see Sajid Javid has agreed to delay plans for GP earning declaration arrangements’.
‘With GPs facing [the] most intense workload pressures this winter, it’s vital there are no distractions from the priority of providing good patient care’, he added.
A BMA spokesperson told Pulse: ‘Crucially, these changes could have caused disruption over the winter period – distracting from the immediate priorities facing practices and their patients.
‘We are glad that the secretary of state is delaying these plans, providing some breathing space for hard-working GPs.’
They added that the BMA ‘has been clear that this policy was likely to be counter-productive’ at a time GPs are facing ‘some of the most intense pressures many have ever experienced’.
Pulse has approached the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for comment.
It comes as GPs were given until 14 November to respond to a BMA ballot asking what action they are prepared to take against NHS England’s access plan – including refusing to comply with the contractual requirement to declare earnings over £150,000.
According to a Cleveland LMC bulletin published this month, results of the ballot are set to be ‘communicated to members’ today or tomorrow.
However, the BMA has told Pulse that while the results will be ‘considered in detail’, there are ‘no immediate plans to make them available publicly as there is no need to do so’.
It also said that it was ‘unclear’ how NHS England would ‘police’ declarations and that any evidence sourced for monitoring via ‘illegitimate means’ will be ‘open to legal challenge’.
In September, the BMA said that GPs have been ‘singled out’ and that the launch of the requirement has ‘breached’ its contract agreement with commissioners.
GP leaders had previously argued that this is an attempt to name and shame GPs. They pointed out that it does not reflect the hours they work, and warned it could fuel anti-GP sentiment among the public who believe family doctors are paid too much.
Two candidates have been nominated – Dr Farah Jameel and Dr Chandra Kanneganti.