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Half of NHS employers struggling to recruit salaried GPs

Around half of NHS employers are struggling to recruit salaried GPs, and find that hiking their pay does not help.

NHS Employers, which discovered the finding via a survey, put this down to a lack of available GP workforce.

In evidence to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB), NHS Employers said this comes as ‘salaried GPs are now employed by a range of different NHS organisations providing a range of services’.

The evidence said: ‘Around half of those employers who responded to our survey said that they had experienced some issues with the recruitment and retention of salaried GPs.

‘Although some put this down to supply issues, there was no indication that remuneration was a significant factor.’

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked the DDRB to pay specific attention to the recruitment of salaried GPs in this year’s pay recommendation, because of ‘the expansion of the salaried model in general practice’.

NHS Employers’ evidence further highlighted a new trend for contractor GPs to choose salaried employment, using the example of the six practices in Gosport, Hampshire, which have gone to work for the local MCP vanguard.

It said that in light of this development, ‘it will be important to have a contractual framework that supports and encourages such new ways of working’.

The DDRB has also been asked to look at whether the Government’s overall pay envelope – which like previous years comes with just a 1% uplift – can be applied flexibly to boost recruitment in under-doctored areas.

But the NHS Employers evidence submission said a 1% uplift was ‘insufficient to make a significant change’, with over half of survey respondents favouring the option of giving all staff a 1% pay uplift.