GP partners' income fell a quarter in seven years from post-QOF peak

GP partners' income fell by nearly a quarter in real terms over just seven years from 2005/6, official data show.

GP income

Data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) published on Friday reveal that income for all GPs – partners and salaried – fell by a ‘statistically significant’ average of 1.4% between 2011/12 and 2012/13.

But the data reveal the extent to which partners’ income has fallen off a cliff from its peak in 2005/6 after the introduction of the QOF.

Across GMS and PMS partners combined, GP income was £100,170 in 2004/5, the first year of the new GMS contract.

Huge real-terms drop

In 2005/6, when the QOF took effect, this rose to £110,000 – equivalent to £129,994 in real terms in 2012/13.

But official data show that by 2012/13 GMS and PMS partners’ income had fallen to £102,000 – 22% down in real terms from 2005/6.

For GMS partners the fall was fractionally steeper, with income down 23% in real terms from 2005/6.

The data show that GP partners earned less than £2,000 more in cash terms in 2012/13 than they did the year before the new GP contract took effect.

Expenses have risen in relation to practices’ gross earnings every year since 2005/6, the data reveal.

Rising GP expenses

In 2005/6 expenses accounted for 55.1% of partners’ gross earnings across PMS and GMS practices, but by 2012/13 this had risen to 62.5%.

For salaried GPs working in GMS and PMS practices, average income also fell from 2011/12 to 2012/13, down 0.6% from £56,800 to 56,400.

The data also reveal differences in income changes between UK countries, with the fastest drop in income between 2011/12 and 2012/13 coming for GP contractors in Wales.

Partners in Wales saw income fall 2.4% in that period from £93,300 on average to £91,000.

In England, income fell 0.9% from £106,100 to £105,100, while in Northern Ireland income fell 0.6% from £92,800 to £92,200.

In Scotland, however, income rose from £88,700 to £88,800 – a 0.1% increase.

Less than 10% of GPs across the UK earned in excess of £150,000 in 2012/13.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Closed sign

GP contract changes 'could lead to more practice closures'

Changes to the GP contract for 2023/24 could lead to more practice closures and more...

Talking General Practice

Podcast: Will GPs take industrial action, patientsā€™ views on the NHS, junior doctor dispute

The team looks at whether GPs will be prepared to take industrial action and the...

GP at desk

GPs to 'exception report' appointments booked over two weeks ahead

GP practices will be able to 'exception report' appointments booked deliberately...

GP sign

Contract update hands practices just six weeks to agree access improvement plans

GP practices have just six weeks to agree access improvement plans covering patient...

GP appointment

GP anger over last-minute release of contract detail for 2023/24

GP leaders have hit out at NHS England after it waited until just two days before...

GP consulting room

GP appointments surge 10% above pre-pandemic level

GP practices in England delivered 10% more appointments in February this year compared...