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    Tuesday, 10 July 2018 09:39
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    Wednesday, 04 July 2018 15:22
  • Scotland update Golden Hello arrangements for GPs

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    Friday, 29 June 2018 15:11
  • Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

    Extra £20m funding will go hand-in-hand with a new 10-year plan for the NHS

    Monday, 18 June 2018 17:31

GP-moneyAugust 12 2015

Removing a financial supplement given to trainee GPs could worsen the GP workforce crisis and compromise patient care, doctors are warning.

Proposals set out in the most recent report from the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB), published last month, recommend that GP trainees should be paid on the same basis as hospital trainees.

The report noted that NHS employers regard the current GP trainee supplement as a recruitment and retention premium (RRP) in all but name. It also acknowledged that the BMA had argued that “without pay parity among doctors in training, general practice would be seen as an even less desirable training option, further hampering the growth of the GMP workforce and worsening the existing problems.”

In making its recommendation, the DDRB says that it was content to support the proposal that pay for GP trainees should be on the same basis as for hospital doctors, but in effect, hospital doctors have a tougher job.

“We acknowledge that as the current unsocial hours responsibility for GP trainees is relatively light compared to the average hospital doctor, this will have implications for their pay,” says the report.

GP trainees “would be likely to receive a flexible pay premium, given the current difficulties in recruiting sufficient numbers of GMP trainees in some parts of the UK. These payments could be adjusted over time to reflect the changing position on recruitment and retention.”

Around 4,000 GPs could be affected, with some GPs in training being paid up to 31% less than hospital trainees, says the RCGP. This could deter medical students from going onto general practice training.

The College says it does not usually intervene on GP pay – which is the locus of the BMA - “but has taken the extraordinary step of writing to the Health Secretary on the issue because it is so concerned about the negative impact the proposals could have on GP recruitment and, ultimately, the long-term future of general practice and patient care.”

The letter from RCGP Chair Dr Maureen Baker to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says that, if implemented, the proposals would “make it impossible to achieve the Government’s target of increasing the number of GPs by 5,000 by 2020.”

She warned: “I am extremely concerned that this proposal, if implemented, would have a catastrophic impact on GP recruitment, leading to a worsening of the current workforce pressures that general practice is under and compromising the ability of GPs to continue to provide safe patient care.”

Responding to the DDRB’s recommendations, Dr Donna Tooth, chair of the BMA GPC trainee committee, said: “With general practice facing a recruitment and retention crisis and hundreds of training places left unfilled, proposals that would financially penalise GP trainees would be a disaster.

“This also sends completely the wrong signal to junior doctors about how much we value general practice relative to other areas of medicine. This could have a significant impact on GP numbers at a time when demand for GPs has never been higher. It would be bad for patients, for the profession and for the NHS as a whole.”

Links:

Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration report July 2015    

RCGP response     

BMA response    

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