In written evidence to the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB), the GPC accused the DoH of a ‘piecemeal dismantling’ of the GMS contract agreed in 2003.
The GPC has called for a 4 per cent increase to all elements of the GMS contract in 2007/8, including quality, in evidence submitted to the DDRB.
The DoH submission demands a below-inflation rise of 1.5 per cent for all parts of the workforce, warning that job cuts or cuts to services would be likely if the pay award were higher.
The DoH says it does not expect the DDRB to rule on the GMS uplift for 2007/8, because ‘negotiations are about to begin’.
This is the first time the DDRB has been asked to rule on core GP pay since 2001. In recent years, the DoH and GPC have submitted joint evidence after reaching negotiated settlements, and the DDRB has ruled exclusively on pay for other roles, such as trainers and salaried GPs.
However, GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said he had asked the DDRB to recommend a pay settlement for GP principals this year because the GPC and DoH were ‘significantly apart on what would constitute a reasonable inflationary uplift’.
‘We made significant concessions last year to deal with perceived over-delivery,’ he said. ‘Part of this was no inflationary uplift and a significant redistribution of quality points, new work, and new enhanced services that focus on DoH priorities.’
The GPC evidence says that ‘despite having secured agreement last year that value-for-money concerns would not be revisited, attempts to renegotiate the contract, to the financial detriment of GPs, seem to continue’.