Despite the publication of full details of a GMS contract deal for 2014/15 struck between the GPC and NHS Employers, the profession will have to wait to find out if the deal will come with any increase in funding.
NHS England and the GPC have agreed to submit evidence to the independent Doctors and Dentists Review Body, with ministers making the final decision on any pay rise.
Although the phasing out of MPIG is expected to begin from April 2014, with a seventh of practices' correction factors removed and recycled into core funding, no further information on this process has been released as part of the contract deal.
Core practice funding will rise significantly as part of the 2014/15 deal, however, with £290m in QOF funding diverted into core pay.
NHS Employers, the GPC and NHS England will form a working group to develop proposals on ‘how the publication of GP NHS net earnings relating to the contract should be implemented for 2015/16’. Earnings data from 2014/15 will be the first to be made public.
The working group will ensure that the publication is on a 'like for like basis' with data released for other healthcare professionals.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt told The Times that some salaries would be published from next year. He said the ‘principle has been established’ and that no GP would be exempt.
Mr Hunt said general practice had been ‘starved of resources’ because of suspicion that funds were being ‘creamed off’ in higher salaries. ‘The only way to prevent this is transparency,' he said.
A BMA spokesman said the agreement would be ‘nothing different from the transparency that we already see elsewhere across the public sector’. ‘It would be unacceptable for GPs to be treated any different to other public sector workers,' he said.
In line with the coalition government’s commitment to cut age-related pay progression across the public sector, GP seniority payments will be abolished from the end of March 2020. Those still in receipt of payments in March 2014 will retain them until that date, but there will be no new entrants from 1 April 2014.
NHS Employers said there would be a 15% reduction in spending each year on seniority payments, which would be reinvested in core funding. The BMA said it was ‘concerned at the impact this could have on GP retention’.
The QOF reduction will see 238 points transferred into core funding, reversing some of the imposed changes in the 2013/2014 contract. The BMA said all practices, including those with correction factor, would receive funding transferred into core funding.