Data suggests years of repeated pay cuts for GPs ‘are slowly reversing’, says BMA

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Last reviewed: 20 August 2021

Responding to GP Earnings and Expenses Estimates 2019/20 data, Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC chair at the BMA, said:

“Today’s figures suggest that years of repeated, real-terms pay cuts for GPs are slowly reversing for both salaried GPs and GP contractors. However, they are relevant to over a year ago and before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has since been incredibly challenging. It has worsened existing pressures in general practice; our workforce crisis has deepened and GPs are now spread more thinly with ever-increasing workloads. It’s clear that the pandemic has highlighted the incredible work of GPs and their teams, and it’s vital that they – and all doctors - are appropriately rewarded for their immense efforts and dedication.

“The report shows that the average uplift for salaried GPs in England – 4.9% - was higher than the 3.8% for partners. This indicates how much GP partners value their experienced and talented staff, which is essential to recruiting and retaining more doctors and safeguarding patient care. What these headline figures don’t show, however, is the significant financial burden that comes with running a practice, with the proportion of gross earnings taken up by running costs continuing to grow significantly each year. This indicates how much GP contractors need to invest in their practices to maintain services for their patients.

“2019/20 was the first year of the five-year contract agreement for GPS, and although the widely welcomed new Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice was introduced at this time, the varying impact for individual GPs means it’s not possible to show how this has impacted earnings and expenses.”


Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association 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.