GPC urges fair distribution of pay

DoH calls for no GMS rise, but NHS Employers backs 1 per cent uplift.

Richard Vautrey
Richard Vautrey

The government must not use a formula to distribute any funding increase for 2010/11, the GPC has warned.

In its submission to the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) last week, the DoH called for a 1 per cent pay rise for salaried doctors, but no change for partners.

NHS Employers called for a 1 per cent rise, but did not say how it should be distributed. The BMA is calling for 2 per cent.

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chairman, said DoH plans to offer different rises to salaried doctors and partners was consistent with plans to offer junior doctors a rise while freezing the pay of consultants.

But he rejected the idea that the uplift should be distributed through a formula that favoured some practices. 'If we only end up with a small increase we need to ensure it actually reaches every practice that requires its expenses covering,' he said.

This year's pay rise was distributed through a formula that gave some practices a core pay uplift of 12.5 per cent, while most received just 0.7 per cent.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the committee was 'not keen on formulas, especially in the long term'. He added: 'If they insist on GPs having a very little uplift, it will not work properly.'

He said the DoH was more likely to distribute any uplift through QOF and enhanced services rather than by increasing core pay.

The DoH wants 'an uplift of 0.5 per cent in gross GMS contract payments to self-employed (GPs), which is intended to produce no increase in net payments'. It would cover rising costs, including 'up to 1 per cent' for salaried GPs and staff.

The DoH evidence reminded the DDRB that its role was not to 'maintain pay differentials' or 'protect the real values of particular salaries over time'.

Instead it is to set pay at 'the right levels to recruit, retain and motivate sufficient numbers of high quality doctors'.

NHS Employers, meanwhile, says practices should augment their uplift with a 1 per cent efficiency saving, adding: 'The extent to which GPs will be able to increase their profits will largely depend on their ability to deliver efficiencies.'

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