UK health departments rule out DDRB advice on GP pay

The Scottish government has become the latest health department to tell the Doctors and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) not to make recommendations on GP pay for next year.

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil: ruled out DDRB advice on GP pay
Scottish health secretary Alex Neil: ruled out DDRB advice on GP pay

All four UK health departments have now sent letters to the DDRB warning it not to make recommendations on GP pay.

But the BMA has rejected the governments' stance and submitted evidence to the DDRB last week, calling for a 1% uplift in income for GPs 'as a minimum' in 2013/14. It argued that any increase should be applied to the net incomes for partners and salaried GPs.

The BMA in its submission said it continues to value the independence of the DDRB and believes it should not be constrained by a government-imposed pay cap.

GPC contracts committee chairman Dr John Canning said that the calls by the devolved governments are not likely to influence the DDRB not to make recommendations.

He said: ‘I wouldn’t have thought it will make much of a difference on whether the DDRB makes a recommendation or not. The GPC negotiates on a UK-wide basis so we will wait and see.’

NHS Employers said that salaried GPs' pay should be frozen, in its annual submission to the DDRB this month. The DH said that it would submit evidence to the DDRB 'shortly' but would not clarify if this would cover GMS.

A spokesman for the DDRB said that it would decide whether to make a recommendation on GMS funding to the UK health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, once it has received evidence from all parties, including the four UK health departments. If the DDRB makes a recommendation to Mr Hunt, its spokesman said it would be due around February.

In July, then health secretary Andrew Lansley told the DDRB there was ‘no need’ for it to make recommendations on GMS funding for 2013/14.

 

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