Northern Ireland may not honour UK pay deal

Practices in Northern Ireland could be denied tens of thousands of pounds after GP leaders revealed fears the province's government may not fully honour the UK pay deal.

Dr Theo Nugent
Dr Theo Nugent

Under the 2009/10 deal, any pay rise is to be distributed in several phases according to an agreed ratio.

The system means some practices could receive a core pay rise of up to 11% from a 2% national pay rise, estimates show.

Each phase of the funding distribution process cuts cash from correction factors and recycles it into global sums.
This would significantly cut reliance on MPIG across the profession.

But GP leaders in Northern Ireland fear the province’s government may implement only the first step of the pay rise, and then retain money that should be recycled.

Southern LMC chairman Dr Theo Nugent, chairman of this year’s Northern Ireland LMCs conference, told the event in Fermanagh yesterday: ‘This is something we are watching closely.’

A pay rise of 2% would see an initial uplift of 2.13% to all practices’ global sums.

If the process stopped at this stage in Northern Ireland, a practice with an average global sum of 300,000 and no correction factor would receive £6,390, compared with up to £33,000 for an equivalent practice in the rest of the UK.

Fewer practices would be lifted off MPIG, and overall reduction of correction factors would be limited.

nick.bostock@haymarket.com

Editor's blog: Northern Ireland's take on traditional general practice

* See this week's GP newspaper dated 3 April for a full version of this story and more coverage from the Northern Ireland LMCs conference. 

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