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Scottish GPs ‘to receive 3% pay uplift’, says Government

The Scottish Government has said GP independent contractors will receive a 3% pay uplift for 2018/19, backdated to 1 April.

Although this falls short of the 4% recommended by the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body, it is one percentage point higher than the uplift announced for GPs in England.

The overall annual contractual uplift for Scotland in 2018/19 is 3.42%, which the Government said would cover:

  • a 3% pay uplift for GP contractors;
  • a 3% increase to practice staff pay;
  • an uplift of 3%, according to the CPI inflation measure, for non-staff expenses; and
  • £2.9 million for the cost of population growth in 2017/18.

The Scottish Government said this comes in addition to the £100m investment it has made alongside the new GMS contract for Scotland which came into effect from April.

The Scottish Government also announced that NHS-employed salaried doctors earning below £80,000 would receive a 3% pay uplift.

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Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: ‘Scotland’s health service is founded on the incredible contribution of its staff and this agreement recognises the role played by our doctors and dentists…

‘By offering fair pay increases we can help to support recruitment and retention of staff, encouraging health professionals to build their careers in Scotland’s NHS.’

BMA Scotland chair Peter Bennie said the below-recommendation pay award was ‘simply not good enough’.

He said: ‘Everything possible should be being done to make doctors feel valued and ensure that working in Scotland is as attractive as possible across all stages of a doctor’s career.’

New BMA Scotland GP Committee chair Dr Andrew Buist said: ‘I am of course disappointed they have not accepted in full the DDRB recommendation. However compared to other groups we have done relatively well. That said pay is a key part of addressing our recruitment and retention problems. 

‘To be fair our Government have recognised the importance of reform of the way general practice is supported and provided with significant and rising funding in direct support of general practice over the next three years to deliver on our new contract. We must not lose sight of that prize.’