DDRB highlights workforce and training concerns behind 1% pay rise advice

The Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) has highlighted poor fill rates for GP training and slow workforce growth as key factors behind its recommended 1% pay rise for GPs.

Funding: DDRB highlighted workforce concerns behind pay rise advice
Funding: DDRB highlighted workforce concerns behind pay rise advice

Ministers said earlier on Thursday that they had accepted the DDRB’s recommendation for a 1% net pay increase, announcing a 1.16% gross funding uplift including expenses.

The DDRB admitted that there was a case for recommending a higher pay rise for GPs, admitting that flaws in its system for assessing GPs' income and expenses meant previous uplifts had failed to deliver intended net pay rises.

But the review body said its terms of reference on considering affordability in line with government pay restraint policy limited its recommendation to 1%.

In its report to ministers the review body said the the fall in average income each year since 2005/6 ‘may be a factor influencing the decisions of trainees when deciding whether or not to pursue a career in general practice’.

GP expenses data unclear

In a break with previous years the body did not make a recommendation on expenses. Last year it raised concerns over the formula used to calculate its expenses recommendation, saying it had failed to deliver the intended net pay increases.

The DDRB had asked NHS England and the BMA to provide more detailed information on workload, income and expenses to inform this year’s recommendation, but that was not available. The BMA raised concerns over the ability of practices to provide the detailed information required, given the potential workload involved.

Ministers accepted the DDRB’s 1% net rise recommendation and used the formula rejected by the BMA and the DDRB to calculate a recommendation of 1.16% gross funding uplift.

NHS England said in its evidence to DDRB that future calculations of expenses should take place in GP contract negotiations.

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