GPs face 'biggest pay cut yet' under DH contract plans

GP practices face the biggest cut to their income in almost a decade under reforms the government is threatening to impose, GP leaders have warned.

Dr Laurence Buckman: GPs face biggest pay cut yet
Dr Laurence Buckman: GPs face biggest pay cut yet

In a 25 October letter to all GPs in England, GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the government’s plan to impose a 1.5% GMS uplift in return for more work was ‘certain to lead to the biggest pay cut yet for GPs, in a year other doctors expect to receive a 1% pay rise’.

GPs real net incomes have already been slashed by more than 20% since 2004, Dr Buckman said. The proposed uplift would be ‘dwarfed' by the negative impact of other elements of the proposals, which include an overhaul of the QOF and a seven-year plan to axe MPIG.

Dr Buckman said the GPC was close to reaching a negotiated agreement two weeks ago. He felt the negotiating team ‘had found a way to accommodate many of the government’s requests while protecting practices from the most unworkable and damaging of their demands’.

But many of the changes the government now plans to introduce were not even discussed during negotiations, Dr Buckman said.

There was a 'paucity of relevant research' to support government plans to change the Carr-Hill formula, which determines practices' core income, to give greater weight to deprivation factors, Dr Buckman warned.

He added: ‘The government has asked us to enter new talks to refine the terms of their proposals and has suggested that, if we do so, it would include a 1.5% contractual uplift.

‘However, any such uplift would be dwarfed by the negative impact of other elements of the proposal. We have no intention of legitimising something so fundamentally damaging to the profession by returning to the table, especially as the government has made it clear that it is not willing to make significant changes to its plans.’

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