The Government has asked the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists Remuneration (DDRB) to take into account ‘affordability’ for practices when recommending a salaried GP pay rise for next year.
In its remit letter for the DDRB for the 2022/23 financial year, health secretary Sajid Javid said the pay of independent contractor GPs should not be considered as part of the review because they ‘remain subject’ the the five-year pay agreement struck between NHS England and the BMA.
However, he added: ‘We do, however, invite you to make recommendations on uplifts to the maximum and minimum of the salaried [GP] pay scales.’
But he said that: ‘As ever, recommendations will need to be informed by affordability and the fixed contract resources available to practices under the five-year GP contract.’
The five-year GP contract for England’s GPs, entered into in 2019/20, aimed to give GP partners a 2% year-on-year pay increase.
However for the current financial year, the Government accepted a DDRB recommendation for salaried GPs to receive a 3% pay rise.
At the time, the BMA commented that this was an ’empty promise’ without additional funding for GP practices to pay for it.
The Government had initially proposed a 1% pay increase for doctors in March this year.
Meanwhile, Welsh GP contract negotiations for 2021/22 concluded at the end of last month, with all GPs to receive a 3% pay rise backdated to 1 April. The previous year, Welsh GPs received 2.8% pay rise.
Last month, the England LMCs conference called on the BMA to negotiate a new GP contract, with over half of delegates expressing support for a fee-for-service contract model.