Pay talks stall as GPC launches legal challenge

Talks on the promised 1.5 per cent practice income increase have collapsed, while the GPC challenges the legality of the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB) report.

The DDRB proposed a 2.7 per cent increase across the profession. But cuts to correction factors mean that 90 per cent of practices will see no rise, and the average gain across the whole profession will be just 0.2 per cent.

It is unclear how much more must be spent to reach the 1.5 per cent offer for England, Scotland, possibly Wales and not Northern Ireland. Talks are on hold pending the outcome of the challenge.

DoH lawyers are now considering the challenge.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum wrote to health secretary Alan Johnson to express the BMA's ‘serious concerns that the report is not legally deliverable under current regulations'.

The challenge centres on the DDRB's recommendation that paragraph 1.6 of the 2006/7 contract revisions apply in full. The passage proposes that practices should over time become less reliant on MPIG.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘It's three lines that went into no detail weighted against the legal directions contained in the SFA.'

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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