GPC says pay must rise faster than expenses

Review body GP expenses have risen sharply since 2005, according to the GPC's initial evidence to the DDRB.

GP leaders will demand a pay rise on top of funding to cover accelerating practice expenses in evidence to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) for 2009/10.

Figures released last week by the NHS Information Centre show that average GMS income per partner for non-dispensing GPs fell 3 per cent to £99,580 in 2006/7.

The fall came as expenses rose 3.5 per cent, a trend the GPC believes will be repeated when data for 2007/8 are published next year.

Six per cent of GP contractors earned less than £50,000 in 2006/7, the figures reveal.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'It'll be worse for 2007/8. Every GP has been hit by rising expenses and has borne that without a pay rise for three years.'

Dr Buckman said that inflation, rising staff costs, petrol prices and the rising cost of living had all increased the cost of running a small business.

The BMA has submitted evidence to the DDRB calling for a 4 per cent rise for salaried GPs and other doctors, but the GPC will submit supplementary evidence on GMS pay early next month.

Dr Buckman said: 'Whatever we get has to recognise expenses as well. We will be discussing expenses, and then discussing a rise on top of that. I am hopeful that this time the DDRB will recognise our case for a pay rise.'

The latest pay data also show that dispensing GMS GPs' income fell 1.5 per cent to £124,045 in 2006/7, taking the overall GMS average to £103,530 for the year.

PMS GPs earned on average £118,499, making the average across both contracts £107,667.

Salaried GPs across both contracts earned £50,999 in 2006/7, the figures show.

Across both GMS and PMS, average GP income in 2002/3 was £72,716, or £80,420 in real terms, the NHS Information Centre data show.

This means that GP pay rose on average by 7.6 per cent between 2002/3 and 2006/7.

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

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