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The announcement of the DDRB’s pay recommendations was long overdue. While the 4% recommendation was inadequate, as it still left GPs way behind after years and years of pay freezes, it was still welcomed. However, the government offered just 2%, plus potentially a further 1% related to contract negotiations.
The fact that the government has said they will not honour the DDRB recommendation sadly, comes as no surprise. The DDRB is intended to be an independent body receiving evidence from both sides, professional bodies and the government, and makes recommendations on pay. In the past, we have seen the government dictate what it will pay, refusing to give the recommended uplift or give less. Interestingly, when the independent parliamentary body makes recommendations on pay, there seems to be no such issue.
Whether we should continue to engage in the DDRB process when the outcome is ignored, is still a question the BMA will be debating in the following weeks. As you are all aware, a recent survey was sent out to all members in England to understand the feelings of the profession on the pay offer and to help inform BMA’s strategy.
The survey received 12,717 responses and the results showed that three quarter of doctors found the pay award ‘highly unacceptable’, with more than 88% doctors feeling less valued working in the NHS and 84% describing their morale as significantly worsened. I suspect we will hear further thoughts from the profession on this at the LMC conferences over the coming months.
Our role on the sessional subcommittee is to make sure salaried GPs know how they should claim this meagre increase and help locum GPs do the same. Figures from our survey in 2017 showed 56% of salaried GPs had not had a pay increase in the past year, despite DDRB recommendations. More details on the updated elements of the contract agreement, based on the pay announcement, are found here.
It’s not much, it won’t address the recruitment and retention problems, but it is for all GPs.
Zoe Norris is the chair of the sessional GPs subcommittee
A very different kind of post about the fact that the government has said they will not admiration the DDRB endorsement sadly, comes as no surprise.
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I have not had a pay rise since 2012. I was told by the BMA the PMS practices can make their own decisions whether to give a rise or not.
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It is not actually "for all GPs". Freelance GPs set their own fees as they see fit. What the DDRB may recommend and what the government may grant are entirely irrelevant to freelance GPs. I look at the rise in cost of my expenses, the rate of inflation, and market forces when setting my fees. It is simple, and far better than relying on the BMA/GPC and HMG.
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