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NEWS: Limited pay rises for practices

by in GP Practice Management, News

Salaried GPs are to share in a 2.8% pay award for some doctors in England – but other practice staff are unlikely to, it has been revealed.

A government announcement claiming that doctors and health staff are to share in a 2.8% pay award for the efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic caused confusion this week. It emerged that the award did not apply to trainee doctors or to nurses and other non-medical staff. The government in England says it is complying with recommendations of pay award bodies – and that many staff already have multi-year pay deals agreed in their contracts.

The Doctors and Dentists Review Body said it expects all GP earnings to increase by 2.8% this year – and that practice staff costs will increase by 3.1%. It only made recommendation for salaried GPs, however, proposing a 2.8% increase.

British Medical Association chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said the BMA was disappointed as it had pressed for the pay awards to recognise the “extraordinary efforts” of all staff during the pandemic. He said: “This year tens of thousands of healthcare workers have faced probably the most stressful period of their careers, with many putting their lives at risk and worse but they’re not being recognised for it. 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.”

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: “The Government must show its appreciation by coming up with the cash now to give the rest of the NHS staff – including nurses, porters, ambulance crew and cleaners – an early pay rise this year.” Health secretary Matt Hancock said the pay awards followed an “incredibly challenging” period for NHS staff.

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