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Government's response to DDRB recommendation

In line with BMA’s request for a further 4% increase (in addition to the 1% already agreed in the 2018/19 GP contract negotiations) in general practices’ funding, the DDRB recommended this 4% uplift to the government. The government’s response is at the link below:

You will see that the government will only be awarding an additional 1% to contractual values, and that supposedly this will enable, after expenses, GP partners to receive a 2% pay rise this year (with the promise of another 1% next year). Needless to say practices are going to have to absorb pay increases for their salaried GPs and other practice staff out of this funding, together with all their other rising expenses, including of course, the massively increased workload and loss of income from SARS under GDPR .

Inevitably too, these meagre crumbs will be accompanied by further demands for “efficiency savings” and transformation.

I fear all your practices are in for yet another year of spiralling workload, massively increasing expenses and decreasing net practice incomes and partner profits. I wish I could find something positive to say about this, but I’m sorry I can’t.

GPC Chair Richard Vautrey has this morning spoken to the Secretary of State for Health about this disgraceful treatment of the profession, stressing deep concern that the government has chosen not to honour the findings of its own independent pay review body across the entire NHS, but specifically for GPs. He made it clear that GPs should be receiving at the very least a 4% uplift, as recommended by the DDRB, simply to keep services for patients running and also stated significant concerns about the impact this could have on practice staff recruitment and retention, particularly as some of their colleagues such as community nurses, health centre reception staff etc. will get 3% or more.

GPC has made clear in its press statements today that for a decade now, GPs have seen their real terms pay cut by over 20% and this is one of the key factors that explains the dire recruitment and retention situation in general practice. For the new Secretary of State to commit to addressing the workforce crisis in general practice and raise hopes of investment in primary care in his first speech last week, only to dash those hopes a few days later will send a signal to dedicated GPs and their staff that they are not sufficiently valued.

All I can add is that the LMC will continue to do its best to support GPs and their practices through these increasingly difficult times.

I would again re-iterate that all practices need to very carefully consider what actions they might need to take to cease carrying out uncontracted/unfunded work and to consider what non-obligatory work they might also need to cease providing, in order to best mitigate the consequences of their ever-escalating workload and massively rising practice expenses in the light of this latest kick in the teeth from the government.


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