Salaried GP pay bands will be uplifted by 2.8%, backdated to April, the health secretary has announced today.
However, practices will not receive a specific funding uplift in order to fund these pay rises for staff as this is already covered in the five-year funding deal, the BMA confirmed.
The Government today announced that it has accepted the latest Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) report’s recommendation that NHS doctors and dentists in England should see a pay uplift of 2.8%.
The uplift, which also covers consultants, specialty doctors and associate specialists, will be backdated to April, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.
GP practices have flexibility in how they ‘distribute pay’ to their employees but minimum and maximum pay ranges for salaried GPs will rise in line with the recommendations.
It said: 'The minimum and maximum of the pay range in the model terms and conditions for salaried GPs will be uplifted by 2.8%.
‘As self-employed contractors, it is largely up to GP practices how they distribute pay to their employees. Employers have the flexibility to offer enhanced terms and conditions, for example, to aid recruitment and retention.'
It added: ‘The DDRB were not asked to make a pay recommendation for contractor GPs or doctors and dentists in training as both groups are in the second year of their respective multi-year deals.‘
The BMA confirmed that the five-year GP funding deal allowed for an uplift to practice staff pay and expenses in line with predicted inflation.
However, it said the pay award is ‘grossly unfair’ to GPs and a ‘slap in the face’ to all doctors who have ‘put their lives at risk’ during the coronavirus pandemic.
It said: ‘Hospital consultants and staff grade, associate specialist and specialty doctors (SAS) doctors are to receive a pay uplift of 2.8 per cent, but Junior doctors and GPs will receive significantly less and will be restricted to their multi-year pay awards set last year.
‘The BMA says this is grossly unfair and is calling on the Government in England to provide a more significant pay award to all doctors.’
BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul added: ‘There is still no clear strategy to deal with the enormous backlog of surgery and other planned care or how doctors will take leave and be encouraged to rest.
‘The demands on doctors will continue for months as they play a leading role in moving the NHS from current models of Covid-19 focussed care to the restoration of other vital healthcare services.
‘And whilst the economic climate is uncertain, if ever there was a time for a pay uplift to recognise the work done by all doctors, along with years of underpayment, it is now.’
Announcing the pay award, Mr Hancock said: ‘These past few months have been an incredibly challenging time for our NHS, and the resolve, professionalism and dedication of staff has been on show throughout.
‘I am committed to supporting the entire NHS and social care workforce through improved recruitment and retention and delivering 50,000 more nurses and 6,000 more doctors in general practice.’
The independent pay review body considers ‘a range of evidence’ from the NHS and trade unions, the DHSC said.
It comes as general practice was last week omitted in plans for £3bn in extra funding to help the NHS 'get ready for winter' during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The long-awaited General Practice Covid Support Fund promised by NHS England has yet to receive approval from the Treasury, forcing CCGs to 'stabilise' practices with extra funding.
Meanwhile, the refocusing of QOF announced this month means that practices will have to work harder for income as protected points are reallocated.