BMA’s England GP leaders condemn ‘derisory and divisive’ pay award and consider action

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Friday 22 July 2022
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The BMA’s England GP committee have condemned this week’s ‘derisory and divisive’ pay announcement from Government and said they will be discussing next steps including possible industrial or collective action.

On Tuesday the Government announced a 4.5% pay uplift for some doctors, which falls far below current levels of inflation, expected to reach 11% this year.

However, it excluded anything for GP partners in England who are locked into a five-year contract deal agreed pre-pandemic, , including any extra funding to meet recommended pay awards for other staff. This was despite the DDRB (Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration) clearly urging the Government to consider the impact of omitting those on multi-year deals from this year’s announcement, and stressing the “harm that may be caused to recruitment, retention and motivation by not acting”.

At a meeting of the BMA’s England GP committee (GPC England) yesterday (Thursday 21 July), members passed a resolution1 proposed by Dr Karthik Bhat and Dr Chandra Kanneganti that rejected the pay award and committed representatives to further discussions around next steps, including potential industrial or collective action.

Dr Richard Van Mellaerts, BMA England GP committee deputy chair, said:

“For GPs who have spent the last two years pulling out all the stops to continue caring for their communities – often to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing – only to be left repeatedly unsupported and publicly admonished by the Government and policymakers, this week’s announcement only sought to demoralise and devalue GPs further when they were already down.

“To put it bluntly, the 4.5% ‘pay rise’ was nothing of the sort, amounting to the wages of hardworking staff being cut by more than 6% in real terms. Meanwhile, the Government has wilfully ignored the pay body’s recommendation to give GPs who run practices any extra funding, meaning they have no means to meet even this small uplift for staff nor to pay for rocketing practice expenses. With inflation pressures set to reach 11%, something has to give, without understanding and support from Government, practices will fold and patients will have no access to the care that they need.

“With spiralling costs, record demand and workforce shortages across the board, we know practices across the country are already struggling to provide safe care, and the Government has now actively chosen a path that compromises this further.

“Doctors across the profession, and colleagues across the NHS, find it unfathomable just how completely out of touch this Government is with the experiences of those fighting an uphill battle on the ground, and the message is clear: enough is enough.”

Ends

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  1. Motion proposed by Dr Karthik Bhat and second by Dr Chandra Kanneganti:
    That this committee rejects the derisory and divisive pay award for 2022/23 announced by the Government, and gives the GPCE Executive team the mandate to immediately escalate discussions with BMA Council with a view to potential collective/industrial action on behalf of all GPs across England.