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BMA poll reveals 90% of doctors say GP pay rise is ‘unacceptable’

Nine out of ten doctors regard the latest government pay award as ‘unacceptable’, according to a BMA survey.

This comes as GP leaders said the latest award means that GPs have experienced a 20% pay cut since 2008.

The Government has said the 2% pay rise announced in July includes the 1% pay rise already agreed as part of the contract negotiationswhich had resulted in a 3.4% increase to practice funding.

However, 92% of the 12,000 doctors surveyed in England said the pay offer was either ‘highly unacceptable’ or ‘somewhat unacceptable’.

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, who is also a GP, said the survey results are a ‘wake-up call for the Government’.

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘They [the Government] have seriously misjudged the mood of the profession with what is another sub-inflationary pay award…

‘With the NHS facing severe shortages of doctors across all specialities, it is more important than ever that the government recognises the contribution declining pay has had on the ability to recruit and detain doctors and takes steps to reverse this.’

He added: ‘Since 2008, doctors have experienced the largest drop in earnings of all professions subject to pay review bodies, with consultants seeing a 19% fall in pay, junior doctors 21% and GPs 20%.’

The survey also found that less than 1% of the doctors surveyed felt more valued because of the pay rise, whereas 88% said the value they feel as a doctor working in the NHS had reduced over the past week. Meanwhile, 84% said their morale had worsened since the pay award was announced.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘We value our hardworking doctors and they have all seen significant pay rises since the introduction of the new contract last year – between September 2016 and September 2017 those in their first year received a £1,716 increase and those in core training received  £2,024. The government has accepted the independent pay review body’s recommendation of a further 2% increase – the largest pay rise in ten years.’

The 2% rise came despite the recommendation by the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) that GPs should receive a 4% increase.