GPs will have to publish their individual net earnings from 2016/17 under radical plans to increase transparency revealed by NHS England.
Practices will be required to publish average earnings for GP partners and salaried GPs on their website by April 2016 under the new GP contract deal.
But NHS England said that this was an ‘interim solution’ before NHS England pushes ahead with ‘publishing individual GP net earnings in 2016/17’.
The formula for calculating GP earnings has been the subject of negotiations between the GPC and NHS England since the requirement to publish pay was announced in last year’s contract.
The 2015/16 GP contract in England says that practices must publish the average practice earnings per GP, but only for contractual income from NHS England, CCGs and local authorities. Income from premises, dispensing, private work, out of hours or other commitments, will be exempt.
Alongside the mean figure, practices will publish the number of full and part time GPs associated with the published figure.
More on the new GP contract
In a letter to the profession, GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the current scheme was ‘fairer’ than the practice income estimates which are currently published, and which have led to ‘exaggerated’ headlines in the media.
Dr Nagapul said: ‘There will be no requirement to publish individual named incomes. Alongside the mean figure, practices will publish the number of full and part time GPs associated with the published figure.’
‘Non-contract NHS earnings, such as from education, CCG work, out of hours etc will be excluded, as will premises and dispensing monies, and non-NHS income.’
‘This will provide a much fairer indication of GP NHS contract earnings than the figures currently published annually by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, which includes NHS income unrelated to the contract as well as private income, and which has resulted in exaggerated headlines in the media.’
But a letter from NHS England to area teams ’s letter states: ‘This is an interim solution until arrangements are finalised for publishing individual GP net earnings in 2016/17.’
However, Bob Senior, chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants and head of medical services at Baker Tilly warned the plans could have unexpected consequences.
He told Pulse: ‘Publishing GP income could give some very unwelcome results.’
‘There are parts of the country where it is quite hard to find doctors, or indeed in some areas where the doctors are working on salaried basis, they’re on quite low salaries- because there is a very unequal market out there.’
‘So all of a sudden, those populations which are currently quite difficult to doctor, are going to have no winners – because they’re not going to attract someone when they’re earning less than everyone else.’