GPC slams 'out-of-date' government evidence on pay

GP leaders have accused the DH of using 'out-of-date' information that fails to take into account cuts over the past year in its evidence to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) .

Dr Richard Vautrey: DH evidence is out-of-date

DH evidence to the DDRB asks it to endorse the 1.5% pay uplift the government threatened to impose along with the largest ever overhaul of the QOF and a seven year plan to axe MPIG top-ups to practices' core pay. The DH evidence says GP pay has increased ‘in real terms relative to other NHS staff groups’ and that there has been ‘additional investment in local enhanced services’.

The DH evidence cites findings from a 2011 National Work Life Survey showing that in 2010, job satisfaction increased, the proportion of GPs taking part in out-of-hours work declined and GPs planning to leave the profession had fallen.

This is in stark contract to the BMA’s evidence to the DDRB in October which said that 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.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said that the DH evidence does not take into account cutbacks and rising costs across primary care in the past year.

‘We hope that the DDRB is able to see through the out-of-date evidence and to recognise the position today. In the past 12 months there have been cutbacks in enhanced services with PCTs trying to balance their books before they are abolished,’ he said.

The government informed the DDRB earlier this year that it would not be expected to advise on GP funding for 2013/14. But the U-turn on asking it to advise on an uplift follows the breakdown of GP contract talks.

The DH’s evidence said that there has been a 14% rise in investment in local enhanced services over the three years to 2010/11. It also said that pay has increased by 46% over the period 2002/3 to 2009/10. ‘This compares to an increase of 36.4% for consultants and 29.9% for nurses in the same period,’ it said.

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