GPs in Scotland set for 3% pay rise in 2018/19

GPs in Scotland are to receive a 3% pay rise in 2018/19 backdated to April, the Scottish government has announced - outstripping the 2% rise awarded to GPs in England.

Scottish parliament (Photo:  iStock.com/RollingEarth)
Scottish parliament (Photo: iStock.com/RollingEarth)

Salaried doctors and dentists who earn less than £80,000 per year will receive the 3% increase to match the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay deal for 2018-2021. GP partners will also receive a 3% increase in pay, compared with 2% for GP partners in England.

The pay announcement will also mean that junior doctors in Scotland will be paid at least £444 more than their English counterparts, the Scottish government said.

However, the BMA called the pay rise 'extremely disappointing', warning that it did not go far enough to reverse real-terms reductions in doctors' pay over the past decade.

Funding increase

Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman said: ‘Scotland’s health service is founded on the incredible contribution of its staff and this agreement recognises the role played by our doctors and dentists.

‘It follows our minimum 9% rise for NHS Agenda for Change employees over the next three years - which will give those 147,000 employees the best pay conditions in the UK.

‘By offering fair pay increases we can help to support recruitment and retention of staff, encouraging health professionals to build their careers in Scotland’s NHS.’

'Extremely disappointing'

BMA Scotland chair Dr Peter Bennie said: ‘This announcement comes amid significant shortages of doctors across our health system due to huge challenges of recruitment and retention and years of below-inflation pay rises, which have meant real-terms reductions in pay rates of around 20% over the last 10 years across the profession. Today's announcement makes very little impact on that long-term trend.

‘Apart from junior doctors, all sections of the profession have effectively received an award below the independent recommendations of the pay review body, which is simply not good enough. Everything possible should be being done to make doctors feel valued and ensure that working in Scotland is as attractive as possible across all stages of a doctor's career.’

The BMA welcomed the Scottish government's decision to backdate the pay award to 1 April this year across all staff groups. In England, some staff groups will receive the 2% pay rise only from October.

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