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BMA: GPs are being treated unfairly

The BMA has responded to the Government announcement of a 1.32% uplift in practice funding, saying it will mean that GPs have to take another real terms pay cut.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt today rejected a recommendation from the doctors’ pay review body for a 2.29% pay rise to cover rising staff expenses on the basis that he wanted to ensure that practice staff were subjected to the same 1% limit on pay as other members of the public sector.

Accountants are predicting up to a 4% reduction in GP take-home pay due to rising expenses and have accused ministers of ignoring key evidence when signing off a 1.32% uplift in practice funding from April.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘We are bitterly disappointed that the Government is interfering with the recommendations of the review body. 

‘The Government is essentially telling GPs that their staff should earn less than what the DDRB has indicated, or that GPs should take another real terms pay cut.

‘GPs will be fed up that they are again being treated unfairly, particularly when they are also facing the imposition of unwelcome contract changes and having to deal with the consequences of the Health and Social Care Act in England. GPs may feel less motivated to work with the Government in the future at a time when they are needed most.’

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter, Chair of BMA Council, said: ‘The DDRB recommended a gross uplift of 2.29% for GP contractors – to cover increases in practice expenses and staff pay and deliver a 1% net increase to GP pay in line with other doctors – but the Government has reduced that to 1.32%, challenging the Review Body’s calculations on staff pay.’