GPs must take pay cut or reduce services, accountants warn

GPs face a stark choice between cutting their income and scaling back the services their practices offer as the pay freeze bites, accountants have warned.

Mr Slavin: 'I’ve been telling clients they can’t continue to provide a first-class service if the government only pays for a second-class service.'
Mr Slavin: 'I’ve been telling clients they can’t continue to provide a first-class service if the government only pays for a second-class service.'

A 0.5% increase in GP funding for 2012/13, announced this week, will translate into a cut of more than 2.5% in real terms, according to specialist medical accountants Ramsay Brown and Partners.

Laurence Slavin, a partner at the accountancy firm, said: ‘It’s bleak. GPs are running out of ways of preserving their profits.’

He said practices had already taken steps such as cutting back staff and working to limit other expenses.

‘They are cutting expenses, but not being given enough money to maintain their practices,’ Mr Slavin said.

‘They will have to cut their personal income, or the services they provide. I’ve been telling clients they can’t continue to provide a first-class service if the government only pays for a second-class service.

‘That’s the way things are going, and it’s immensely demotivating.’

Cuts to enhanced services have already driven GP income down in 2011/12.

Practices faced five-figure losses to income in 2010/11 as reviews of PMS contracts, the pay freeze on general practice and the drive for efficiency savings took effect.

 

Nick Bostock

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