The health secretary has confirmed that the pledge to ensure NHS workers receive a pay rise amidst a freeze on the rest of the public sector will not apply to GP partners because they have a multi-year pay settlement.
Outlining the remit of the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration Review Body (DDRB) for 2021/22, Matt Hancock said there would be a pause of pay awards for the majority of the public sector.
But added: ‘We recognise the uniquely challenging impact coronavirus is having on the NHS and so have made a commitment to continue to provide NHS workers with a pay rise’.
Yet no pay recommendation would be sought for independent contractor GPs who are subject to a five-year pay agreement between NHS England and NHS Improvement and the BMA, he said.
The remit letter said: ‘Independent contractor general medical practitioners are subject to a five-year pay agreement between NHS England and NHS Improvement and the BMA, and therefore no pay recommendation is being sought for this group.
‘You are invited to make recommendations on uplifts to the minimum and maximum of the salaried general medical practitioner pay scales.’
Mr Hancock added: ‘Recommendations will need to be informed by affordability and in particular the fixed contract resources available to practices under the five-year GP contract.’
Details on pay rises for the public sector were announced in the Spending Review in November where the Government also said the NHS was to receive more than £3bn in Covid funding.
Mr Hancock added that he expected the DDRB recommendations ‘to take account of the extremely challenging fiscal and economic context, and consider the affordability of pay awards’.
BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘The DDRB will be used to make recommendations for sessional GP pay, GP appraisers and all GPs in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but not GP partners in England, as we already have guaranteed increases in funding for next year as part of the five-year agreement.’