Jeremy Hunt approves 1% pay rise for doctors

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has accepted the recommendation from the doctors and dentists review body (DDRB) to award a 1% pay rise to doctors in England in 2017/18.

The GP contract pay uplifts, which intend to provide GP partners with a 1% pay increase, have already been announced in England, Wales and Scotland.

In a minsiterial statement, Mr Hunt said he accepted the DDRB recommendations to increase pay for salaried doctors in the NHS by 1%.

He also accepted the recommendations for a 1% increase to the maximum and minimum salary range for salaried GPs, the GP trainers' grant and the flexible pay premia in the new junior doctors' contract.

Mr Hunt confirmed that the supplement payable to GP registrars will remain at 45% of basic salary for those on the existing UK-wide contract and the rate of pay received by GP appraisers will remain at £500, both of which the DDRB also recommended.

He added that the government had noted the DDRB's recommendation for considering targeted pay solutions based on geography and specialty in future.

'Bitter blow'

The BMA called the 1% pay rise a 'bitter blow', saying doctors faced a real term pay cut. BMA chair Dr Mark Porter warned the pay deal would drive up pressure on the NHS by increasing hospital rota gaps, consultant vacancies and GP practice closures.

The DDRB report warned that general practice in the UK faces a 'serious situation'. The report said it was 'unclear' how GP services can be delivered five to 10 years from now given the growing workforce crisis facing the profession.

The DDRB also highlighted the changing nature of the GP workforce, saying there were 'signs of a clear trend' towards salaried employment and away from the contractor-partner model. It said it would be closely monitoring salaried GPs because there could be 'implications for the future planning and delivery of primary care'.

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