Damning BMA report warns GPs have been 'singled out' over pay

Nearly half of GPs would no longer recommend a career in medicine because they have been singled out for unfair treatment on pay while the intensity and complexity of their workload has soared, a damning BMA report warns.

BMA: GP morale is plummeting amid rising workload and falling pay
BMA: GP morale is plummeting amid rising workload and falling pay

A total of 86% of GPs said the intensity of their workload had risen in the last year, a BMA poll to gather evidence for its submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) found. Three quarters of GPs now say their workload is 'highly intense' - more than any other group of doctors.

The complexity of GPs' work has soared too - 77% said their work now was more complex than last year, and 53% of GPs said their work overall was 'highly complex', compared with lower rates for other doctors.

The BMA said it was particularly concerned about 'the singling out of GP contractors'. In its submission to the DDRB, the BMA demanded a 1% uplift in net income ‘as a minimum’ for GPs. It urged the review body to back an uplift for GPs that would cover rising expenses and allow take home pay to rise by 1%, arresting a trend of falling GP income.

'We believe that GPs should expect to be treated fairly and in line with other doctors in the NHS, so that in this instance they receive the same increase as the rest of the profession in their take home net pay.'

GP morale has plummeted, the BMA warned, with 76% reporting lower morale in 2012 than the year before.

Many GP trainers are threatening to quit over poor pay and rising workload, the poll found. A total of 85% of GP trainers said their current grant does not reflect their workload and 40% said they would quit unless rising workload triggered a pay rise. The BMA said the workload of GP trainers would rise because of a planned expansion of GP trainee numbers and the proposal to increase GP training to four years. The poll found that  57% of GP trainers would ‘actively resist attempts to introduce additional un-resourced work’.

The BMA warned that falling morale meant GPs were more likely to take early retirement than any other doctor as a result of imminent pension changes and revalidation. A DH spokeswoman said: ‘We will be submitting our own evidence to the DDRB shortly. GP negotiations are still underway and it would be inappropriate to comment further.’

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