Welsh GPs will receive a 3% pay uplift for 2021/22, after annual contract negotiations between BMA Wales and the Government concluded.
This is in line with Welsh NHS staff, including salaried doctors, for whom a 3% increase was announced in July.
The uplift is backdated to 1 April and follows last year’s Welsh GP pay increase of 2.8%.
Other changes to the GP contract include:
- Continued investment for the ‘access to in-hours GP services’ programme;
- In-year funding to ease winter pressures;
- Reform of data legislation to de-risk general practice;
- Protected learning time and investment into care navigation training.
BMA GPC Wales chair Dr Phil White said BMA Wales hoped the changes will ‘go some way to alleviating current pressures’ and will reward GPs and staff ‘for their extraordinary efforts during a time of unprecedented demands’.
He said the investment is ‘a welcome acknowledgement of the deficit GPs face in manpower to deliver the services they would wish to.
‘Put simply, there are not enough GPs working in primary care to manage current levels of demand.’
He added: ‘Whilst we are of course pleased that hard-working practice staff are finally able to receive their pay uplift, we have stated clearly throughout our negotiations that linking the pay award to contractual change is inappropriate.
The other changes will ‘ensure practices have the breathing space to develop and train their teams’ to ‘better recognise patient needs’, Dr White said.
He added: ‘We welcome [the] Welsh Government’s commitment to step-up public messaging around the blended model of access. GPs and their teams want to provide the very best access they can for patients – often working way beyond their contracts to do so – but it is crucial that patients understand the pressures facing the profession and what the existing workforce can realistically deliver.
‘We believe that the Welsh Government understand the existential challenge GP practices face, and we are committed to continuing to work together to ensure that patients can access a better resourced general practice service in the future.’
In March, the Welsh Government announced GPs in Wales would receive a one-off bonus payment of £735 to recognise their ‘extraordinary contribution during the Covid-19 pandemic’.