NAO did not exaggerate growth of GPs' earnings

GP has accused the National Audit Office of exaggerating the increase in GP partners' earnings since 2002/3 (GP, 7 March).

Our report uses NHS Information Centre data on GPs' earnings and productivity figures from the Office of National Statistics.

The earnings data from 2002/3 are fully comparable with the latest available, for 2005/6. Each figure takes account of what GPs charge NHS patients for private treatments and employers' pension contributions.

The Information Centre did initially produce incorrect data on GPs' earnings for 2004/5, but it went on to correct this.

Our report uses the corrected figure, and the 2005/6 data show that average GP earnings were £113,614. It therefore accurately states that GP partners' average earnings have increased by 58 per cent since 2002/3.

Julian Wood, director of marketing and communications, National Audit Office.

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