GP leaders have floated a 2% pay rise for doctors in the coming financial year.
Submitting to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB), the BMA stated that “doctors should be treated in line with the wider economy, where pay settlements continue to run at higher than the public sector pay policy cap, at around 2% currently”.
This may cause some conflict, as the government has already stated its intention to keep GPs within its sustained 1% cap on public sector pay rises.
However, the BMA has already indicated that it is disappointed with this recommendation, and that it will seek a better outcome for GPs.
The BMA asserted that the uplift “in line with the public sector pay policy” for 2016/17 was ‘lending credence to the impression that DDRB is no longer acting independently’.
“We believe that DDRB should make its recommendations based on the value of doctors, not within any constraints imposed by governments. Doctors are being unfairly punished by government with continuing real loss of earnings and increasing cost pressures, when pay rises above 1% are still regularly being seen across the economy,” the BMA commented in a statement.
The BMA asserts that this climate of negotiation comes “at a time when doctors are working harder than ever to deliver a safe and quality service to patients, often at the expense of their own health”.
And the organisation also asserted that the NHS “is facing a significant recruitment and retention crisis across the UK, and this will only be worsened by a low or zero pay increase”.
The BMA has thus rejected the recommendations of the Department of health, outlining the importance in offering a decent pay rise in order to retain existing GPs.
“We believe there is a significant lack of data currently available around sessional GPs (salaried and locum) on which to base any firm recommendations, for example around pay ranges, and how GPs choose to take a partnership, salaried or locums post. There is currently insufficient data for DDRB to make recommendations around staff working under new models of care, or as sessional GPs, thus we are again seeking a fair and common recommendation across all doctors, whoever and wherever they are”.
Considering the extent to which GPs in the NHS system are overworked and under pressure, even a 2% rise will be viewed by many as a piecemeal concession.
According to official Government statistics, GP partner earnings increased by nearly 2% in the last year for which statistics were available to £101,500.
However, this figure is not limited to NHS work.