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Buckman: GPC ‘pleased’ with Government concessions on GP contract deal

By Gareth Iacobucci

The GPC has ackowledged that the Government has recognised its concerns over rising practice expenses in this year's pay award, despite the announcement of an overall net pay freeze for GPs.

The parties have announced there will be no uplift to GPs' net pay in 2011/12 - in line with Government policy to freeze public sector pay - with primary care having to absorb 4% efficiency savings over the next year.

But GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said the deal was not a bad one for GPs, because the Government had taken into account the cost of expenses in awarding a 0.5% increase to the overall value of GMS contract.

Dr Buckman said: ‘Given the state of the public finances GPs, like other doctors, were not expecting a pay rise, but we are pleased the Government has recognised the need to increase practice expenses so that GPs can honour the commitment made to our lower paid staff.'

Dr Buckman also credited the Government for agreeing to release cash achieved through a reduction in extended hours funding to a new patient participation DES that will allow GPs to carry out local patient surveys.

He said: ‘We are particularly pleased with the focus on encouraging practice patient groups and locally responsive surveys, as we have always believed these are the best ways for patients to effect positive change at their GP surgery.'

Dr Laurence Buckman Full coverage of the contract deal

Contract headlines:

More work, no more pay: Government reveals GP contract deal

Extended hours funding cut by a third

QOF funding shifted to efficiency savings drive

£60m for Patient Participation DES to be launched next month

Northern Irish GPs left in limbo over contract deal

Analysis: New QOF points on admissions and prescribing are last throw of dice for UK-wide contract

Full coverage of the contract deal Money