NHS England urges GP pay freeze despite 5% efficiency this year

GP pay must not rise by more than 1% in 2014/15 despite an 'efficiency gain of around 4.68%' from this year's imposed deal, NHS England has said.

Funding: NHS England says GP rise must be under 1%
Funding: NHS England says GP rise must be under 1%

In evidence to the independent Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB), NHS England said it was ‘not yet in a position to provide ‘evidence on the level of gross uplift it deems appropriate for 2014/15’ because negotiations with the GPC on ‘possible changes to the GMS contract’ are ongoing.

But its evidence to the review body added: ‘Such an increase will need to be within the pay remit set by ministers, of up to 1%, which applies to both GP contractors and all of the staff they employ.’

The BMA has called for an uplift to doctors’ pay in line with inflation, currently 2.7% based on the consumer price index measure.

NHS England’s calls for a rise well below this mark come despite evidence that GP income has fallen sharply since the 2004 contract deal, with a fall of 14% in real terms between 2004/5 and 2011/12 according to the latest official NHS data.

Accountants believe this has accelerated in the years since, and will get worse as MPIG changes kick in over the next financial year.

NHS England says changes to QOF and directed enhanced services in the 2013/14 contract imposed by the government have brought a substantial increase in efficiency in general practice.

It says: ‘Taken together with the 1.32% increase in gross funding, the agreement reached with the GPC delivered an estimated efficiency gain of around 4.68%.’

The NHS England evidence to the DDRB also acknowledges evidence that thousands of GPs plan to quit the NHS in the coming years, and that stress in the profession is at a 15-year high while job satisfaction is at a 10-year low.

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