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GP partner earnings ‘increased by almost 2%’, Government statistics claim

GP partner earnings increased by nearly 2% in 2014/15 to £101,500, official Government statistics have indicated.

However, today’s data publication from NHS Digital says the income of salaried GPs went down during the year, by almost 2% to £53,600.

GP leaders warn that the overall increase in partner earnings reflect the decrease in GP numbers, meaning that the partners left are having to do more work for the same pay.

The data shows:

  • GP partners had an average income of £101,500 in 2014/15.  This is an increase of 1.7% on their income of £99,800 in 2013-14;
  • The average income for all GPs (including partners and salaried) was £90,600, only a slight change on the previous year’s figure of £90,200;
  • GPs working in a GMS practice had an average income of £98,000 compared with £96,000 in 2013/14 – a 2.1% increase;
  • GPs working in a PMS practice had an average income of £108,000 compared with £106,800 in 2013/14 – a 1.2% increase;
  • The average income for salaried GPs in the UK in 2014/15 was £53,600 – a decrease of 1.7% on the 2013/14 figure of £54,600 in 2013/14.  

The report says that GMS and PMS GP partner gross earnings were, on average, £283,300 in 2014/15, up 3.6% from the year before, while the average total expenses were £181,800 – an increase of 4.6%.

The proportion of gross earnings taken up by expenses increased by 0.7 percentage points to 64.2%.

Broken down by country:

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  • English GP partners saw a 1.9% increase in income before tax;
  • Scottish GP partners saw a 1.1% increase;
  • Welsh GP partners saw a decrease of 0.3%;
  • Northern Irish GP partners saw a 2.1% increase.

Dr Robert Morley, GPC contracts and regulation subcommittee chair, said: ’The figures may be accurate but any increase in partner earnings simply reflects the fact that there is a decrease in the number of partners out there and workloads are going up.

’If the number of GP partners had remained static we would have seen a massive decrease in profits.

‘The issues determining partner profit are hugely complex, there are so many variables but again, any increase will not even get close to offsetting the massive increase in workload and stress that partners are facing.’

The data takes into account all medical income, including both NHS and private work, and is before employers’ superannuation costs – as well as CQC fees, GMC fees and the like – are taken into account.

A GPC spokesperson said: ‘The figures for contractor GPs show a very marginal average increase that is unlikely to be felt by many GPs. It comes after a decade of falling GP contractor income which has been squeezed by rising practice expenses and inflation at the same time as GP workload has spiralled to unmanageable land unsafe levels.

’The figures relating to salaried GPs need to be interpreted with caution as this report does not make adjustments for any change in the average number of hours worked by the GPs in the cohort included compared with previous years. GPC is not aware of any salaried GPs who have made no changes to their working arrangements but experienced a reduction in their pay.’