Exclusive: GP trainee threat if DH axes £12,000 supplements

GP trainee numbers could fall if the DH axes £12,000 supplements that currently bring their pay in line with hospital colleagues, the GPC GP trainee subcommittee chairman has warned.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni: 'Trainees should not be made to feel that training in general practice means a pay cut.’
Dr Krishna Kasaraneni: 'Trainees should not be made to feel that training in general practice means a pay cut.’

Last month the DH announced that it had broadly accepted recommendations made by NHS Employers for a new, single junior doctors’ contract.

NHS Employers said the new contract would ‘reduce the level of financial risk in the system and improve relationships between employers and employees’.

However plans to review the ‘incentive structure’ for GP trainees could mean that they would no longer receive a 45% pay supplement to bring their pay in line with hospital trainees.

NHS Employers argued the supplement did not ‘necessarily reflect the hours and intensity of the work’ done by GP trainees and should be reviewed.

GPC trainee subcommittee chairman Dr Krishna Kasaraneni warned that cutting the pay supplemented could see trainees losing around £12,000 a year.

He said the supplement would equate 'roughly to £1,000 a month' for a GP trainee. However he said the figure would depend on the trainee’s basic rate of pay.

Dr Kasaraneni warned that cuts to GP pay could dissuade trainees from entering general practice. ‘If the pay for a GP trainee is significantly lower than the average for a hospital trainee, then it will reduce the number of doctors entering GP training.

‘At a time when recruitment in to GP is a huge problem, this would be not the way to go ahead. Trainees should not be made to feel that training in general practice means a pay cut.’ 

NHS Employers said that the pay supplement was introduced for ‘recruitment and retention purposes’ and argued that ‘recruitment is not currently a particular problem for GP training’.

In a written ministerial statement, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said he hoped the DH would reach an agreement with doctors’ representatives, including the BMA, on a new GP trainee contract, by spring 2013.

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