Practices face 0.5% pay increase

GMS contract GPs say NHS Employers' plan for 1.5% uplift will lead to real-terms pay cut.

Three quarters of GMS practices will receive a core pay rise of just 0.5 per cent for 2009/10 and remain on MPIG if the DoH implements NHS Employers' pay advice.

NHS Employers' negotiators have called for an uplift of 1.5 per cent to GMS funding in 2009/10.

The uplift would bring 17 per cent of practices off MPIG under the funding agreement reached last month, taking the total no longer requiring the top-up to 25 per cent.

But under the pay distribution deal agreed last month, the 1.5 per cent rise would increase core pay by just 0.5 per cent for practices remaining on MPIG, according to Jon Ford, head of the BMA's health policy unit.

With inflation at 4.5 per cent, and against a background of rising practice expenses, NHS Employers' proposals represent a significant real-terms pay cut.

GP leaders are expected to publish details of their demands for a GMS pay rise this week.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said practices require a funding increase of at least 4 per cent, in line with the BMA's recommended uplift for all doctors.

'Inevitably, NHS Employers has come up with a figure that is less than we need,' he said.

'This is about taking money off doctors.'

GPC member Dr Fay Wilson said: 'To give GPs a pay rise, income needs to go up a lot more than inflation to keep up with rising expenses - 1.5 per cent is absolutely, utterly inadequate.' She said expenses were rising 'possibly faster than inflation'.

Mr Ford suggested the BMA could ask for a rise in excess of 4 per cent to reflect these factors, but the GPC refused to confirm this as GP went to press.

In addition, NHS Employers said the 1.5 per cent rise could be supplemented by a further 0.5 per cent from increases in local enhanced services, but GPC negotiators have said this is unlikely to materialise.

Mr Ford said MPIG practices could struggle if the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) backed the call for a 1.5 per cent uplift.

But he was hopeful that the funding allocation deal and the importance that the DoH attached to cutting the numbers of practices on MPIG would lead to an award in excess of 1.5 per cent.

'We believe the DDRB will consider that this new deal with NHS Employers requires increased investment.'

Employers' pay advice

  • Limit any uplift across the GMS contract to just 1.5 per cent.
  • A net increase of 2 per cent in GPs' income will be available due to more opportunities to earn through non-GMS work.
  • With a 1.5 per cent uplift to core pay, 17 per cent of GMS practices would come off MPIG.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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