Wales announces 2.2% GP pay and expenses uplift for 2016/17

Welsh GP practices will receive a 2.2% funding uplift to cover pay and expenses in 2016/17, the government has announced.

Health minister Professor Mark Drakeford said he had accepted the Doctors and Dentists Review Body recommendations to award GPs and other NHS staff a 1% pay rise.

Taking account of expenses, contract funding will rise 2.2% from April, an additional £10.5m for practices. Of that, £3.48m will cover pay and £7.02m expenses.

The expenses uplift includes an increase in QOF funding to account for population growth, increased employers’ superannuation, national insurance contributions and indemnity.

GP income

The minimum and maximum of the pay range for salaried GPs will also increase by 1%.

Professor Drakeford said: ‘We have accepted in full the recommendations from the independent pay review bodies – this is in line with the offers made elsewhere in the UK.

‘Our commitment to the NHS is unwavering and our staff are at the heart of the service. We will continue to work closely with them, with trades unions and professional bodies, to protect and invest in these vital services despite deep cuts to our overall budget from the UK government.’

In England a pay award for GPs was announced last month as part of changes to the GMS contract in 2016/17. The UK government and NHS England agreed a £220m funding injection for practices, a 3.2% increase, to deliver a 1% pay rise and cover practice expenses.

GP practice expenses

GPC Wales chairwoman Dr Charlotte Jones said: 'We welcome the Welsh government’s recognition that GP expenses have to be met, given the challenges facing Welsh practices. We hope this approach will continue.

'The proposals are largely in line with those in England, excluding England specific fees and the vaccinations and immunisations uplift. The vaccination and immunisation fee negotiation remains outstanding in Wales, despite being part of the 2015-2017 agreement, and this must be resolved swiftly in order to meet an expectation from the profession that this will be concluded by 1st April.

'While we welcome the proactive approach to tackling the issue of low pay in Wales, the living wage changes will begin to affect us from 2017 without any current commitment to additional support, and we will be negotiating this expense as well as any additional changes to employers’ superannuation policy.

'The 1% increase follows years of real term cuts and coupled with the ever increasing workload and strain on the profession, is unlikely to make the workforce feel valued.'

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