Nurse salaries fall as GP profits soar

Practice nurse salaries fell 9.6 per cent between 2004/5 and 2005/6, although GP profits increased by 9.8 per cent in the same period, DoH figures show.

Nurse leaders said the figures were 'staggering' and showed that GP practices were failing to reward nurses for the leading role they play in generating QOF income.

GP profit per partner rose 9.8 per cent to £110,004 in 2005/6, but the DoH figures show practice nurses' basic salary fell £2,217 to £21,118.

The figures were published in DoH evidence to the review body that arbitrates on doctors’ and dentists’ pay.

Meanwhile, figures for 2006/7 from accountants Ramsay Brown and Partners showed that practice profits had fallen 7 per cent. The firm predicts a similar drop in 2007/8.

RCN Practice Nurse Association chair Kate Howie said: 'I'm dismayed that in the year GPs had a big pay hike, practice nurse pay fell by 9.6 per cent — that is staggering.'

She was concerned that practice nurse pay would drop further, and warned: 'GPs not getting a rise in their contract is no excuse for not remunerating their staff properly.'

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