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DDRB told to take account of ‘continued pay restraint’ when considering GP funding uplift

The Government has said it is expecting the DDRB to recommend an uplift for GP contractors, but said there was a ‘strong case’ for ‘continued pay restraint’ in a letter to the review body this week.

In the letter to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) dated 26 August, health minister Dr Dan Poulter invited the body to make a recommendation for GP funding uplift, despite scrapping the process for employed doctors’ pay for next year.

Dr Poulter wrote: ‘We would particularly welcome DDRB’s recommendations on what allowance should be made for GPs’ […] pay and for practice staff pay, in the context of public sector pay policy for 2015/16.’

‘The Government will make the final decisions on the gross uplift for GMS… contracts in the light of the DDRB’s recommendations and taking into account any efficiency gains obtained through the relevant contract negotiations.’

This year, GPs received just a 0.28% funding uplift after the Government accepted the DDRB’s recommendation, despite the DDRB itself complaining that the approach to calculating GP expenses it is expected to use was ‘flawed’ and saying it would have ‘serious reservations’ about continuing making recommendations using the same formula.