This site is intended for health professionals only


GP earnings increase but expenses ‘rise faster than income’



The average earnings across all types of GPs in England increased by 2.7% last year, according to official data. 

However GP partner expenses have been rising faster than their income, NHS Digital said. 

The yearly publication for 2019/20 said the average GP partner earned £121,800 before tax – a ‘statistically significant’ 3.8% increase from 2018/19 – while the average income for salaried GPs rose by 4.9%, from £60,600 to £63,600.

The data also showed that GP partners’ expenses rose by 6.5%, to £280,800. 

Overall, the average earnings for all GPs across England increased by 2.7% to £100,700. 

NHS Digital statistics showed that the ratio of expenses to earnings, which represents the proportion of gross earnings taken up by expenses, was 69.7% in 2019/20 – an 0.5% point increase since 2018/19.

The report said: ‘Since 2005/06, expenses have been increasing at a faster rate than income before tax for GPMS contractor GPs in England, resulting in an expenses to earnings ratio which has grown each year.’

Last year, an independent review found that GPs have the highest gender pay gap among doctors working in the NHS, with women earning significantly less than men.

Data from January 2020 also found that almost 90% of GPs earn less than £100,000 a year, despite the figures highlighting that payment stretches to more than £600,000 in one case.

In October 2019, a study found that GP partners’ income decreased by 10% in real terms over a nine-year period, which ‘may have contributed to current recruitment and retention problems’.

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘Today’s figures suggest that years of repeated, real-terms pay cuts for GPs are slowly reversing for both salaried GPs and GP contractors. However, they are relevant to over a year ago and before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has since been incredibly challenging.

‘It has worsened existing pressures in general practice; our workforce crisis has deepened and GPs are now spread more thinly with ever-increasing workloads. It’s clear that the pandemic has highlighted the incredible work of GPs and their teams, and it’s vital that they – and all doctors – are appropriately rewarded for their immense efforts and dedication.’

Dr Vautrey also pointed out that the report ‘shows that the average uplift for salaried GPs in England – 4.9% – was higher than the 3.8% for partners’.

He said: ‘This indicates how much GP partners value their experienced and talented staff, which is essential to recruiting and retaining more doctors and safeguarding patient care. What these headline figures don’t show, however, is the significant financial burden that comes with running a practice, with the proportion of gross earnings taken up by running costs continuing to grow significantly each year. This indicates how much GP contractors need to invest in their practices to maintain services for their patients.’

‘2019/20 was the first year of the five-year contract agreement for GPs, and although the widely welcomed new Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice was introduced at this time, the varying impact for individual GPs means it’s not possible to show how this has impacted earnings and expenses.’

READERS' COMMENTS [7]

terry sullivan 19 August, 2021 10:37 am

turnover up a little

earnings down–how much is superann?

David Church 19 August, 2021 11:28 am

That’s dreadful, considering inflation is about 25-30% on last year’s prices!

Patrufini Duffy 19 August, 2021 1:26 pm

The cost of paediatric defibrillator pads and speculums is actually a joke on you. Even the battery for that thing. Can you believe you have to pay for your oxygen, for the same state NHS patient whilst the ambulance just leaves them on your premises. Hilarious. How is that even permissable. Let’s not get started on the cost of your paper and inkjets and that silly ear syringe machine you keep using and the decontamination tablets. Hospital’s debt free, you free good doers in cookoo-land.

Turn out The Lights 19 August, 2021 2:21 pm

So take home going down work load going up good luck getting extra GPs NHSE your going to need it.And if you feel you can manage a salaried service good luck a lot will work strictly to contract.NO extras.

John Graham Munro 19 August, 2021 5:22 pm

G.Ps out of pocket?——–now that really will cause mental health issues among them

Nor Afzarina Mohd Adnan-Demade 19 August, 2021 5:45 pm

Honestly worked super hard and increase of 2.7% really not worth the effort!

terry sullivan 19 August, 2021 6:20 pm

just say no