According to evidence given by the Department of Health (DH) to the doctors’ pay review body, GPs are happier than ever and earning the same amount as they did two years ago.
The DH went on to say that it estimated that GP net earnings would remain static this year at £107,700, with the ratio of earnings to expenses at the expected level.
Taking its statistics from the National Work Life Survey in 2011, which it said represented the ‘most up-to-date comparable evidence in measuring GP satisfaction’, the DH said that in 2010 GP working hours had remained at 41.4 hours a week, as they have been since 2008, and that doctors’ happiness rate was 4.9 points on a scale of 7, up 0.2 points in comparison with 2008.
During the evidence, the department also repeated its warning that the 1.5 per cent uplift it has proposed would be taken off the table if the General Practitioners Committee does not agree to the deal it offered last month.
The uplift would allow an average pay increase of up to 1 per cent for GPs and practice staff, in line with wider public sector pay policy for 2013-14, and an additional margin for increases in non-staff expenses.
According to the DH’s evidence, general medical practice pay has increased in real terms relative to other NHS staff groups, while as far as pay is concerned, there has been a 46 per cent increase over the period 2002-03 to 2009-10.
The department is hoping that a negotiated pay settlement can be reached but, if it cannot then it will ask the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ remuneration to make a recommendation on what the uplift to GP pay should be.
As an accountant; David Jacobs offers a range of accounting, audit and taxation advice to the legal and medical professions.