The BMA has advised GPs to notify their staff that they have not yet received money to fund a 6% pay rise promised by the Government.
The doctors’ union said it is still in negotiations with the Government regarding the promised uplift for GP practices to cover a 6% pay rise for salaried doctors and staff announced by the Prime Minister last month.
As negotiations are still ongoing, the BMA has advised practices to explain to their staff that ‘the money is not yet in their accounts’.
In an update to members, GPC England chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer said: ‘GPC England continues to liaise with NHSE and DHSC to establish specific details about how the DDRB 6% uplift will be calculated and funded to practices.
‘As soon as we receive further information, we will share it with practices.
‘Until then, we advise practices to explain that the money is not yet in their accounts, but that we are in discussions with the Government to clarify how the funding will be passed on to practices to support this.’
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced last month that NHS consultants, SAS doctors, salaried dentists and salaried GPs and staff would be covered by the pay offer, while junior doctors were offered a 6% pay rise plus £1,250.
GP partners were excluded, but the Government announced that practices will get a funding uplift to cover the 6% pay rise for salaried GPs and other practice staff.
The uplift will be backdated to April and the Government said it expects the funding to be ‘passed on promptly to all general practice staff’.
Andrew Pow, board member of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, told Pulse that it is not surprising a decision on how to implement the uplift has not been taken yet.
He said: ‘They have made this sort of broad statement in the Department of Health, and no one has actually thought about how you do it in practice, which is probably why it’s now taking ages to get it sorted out, because it is quite difficult to do.
‘One practice may have three partners, four salaried GPs, another might have seven partners and zero salaried GPs, there’s different mixes in ANP staff and other staff.
‘So every practice will be different. To get a sort of global adjustment, there is going to be winners and losers in all of that.’
He pointed out that a way for practices to receive the uplift would be through the global sum, but that this would be ‘unusual’ as the global sum was not designed for specific, one-off cost adjustments.
He added: ‘The sort of core GMS PMS contract only covers some of the work that practices do. If they have local contracts to do certain services, then are those going to get uplifted?
‘Staff working directly for those might not get a funding uplift on the extra work they do, because if it goes into the global sum, it is the global sum that gets uplifted.
‘It is not factoring all these other activities, and a lot of practices do a lot more activity than just the core stuff these days.’
Last month, the Royal College of Nursing urged GP nurses to push practices to ensure they get the 6% pay uplift.
ARRS staff are included in the 5% consolidated increase in pay offered by the Government for Agenda for Change staff in May, but NHS England confirmed in June that no overall change to the total funding will be available.
Today, the BMA announced a new round of strikes – the third one for consultants – as it emerged that it has been months since ministers agreed to meet with the doctors’ union.