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Backdated payment for salary uplift now delayed until November

by Sofia Lind
9 October 2023

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GP practices will not be fully paid for the backdated uplift to the global sum until November, NHS England (NHSE) has said.

In an update to GPs circulated last week, it asked practices to pass on the recommended 6% uplift to salaried GPs and staff ‘as soon as possible’.

The arrears part of the backdated payment had been due to be made in October but is being delayed due to technical issues.

The BMA’s GP Committee (GPC) for England warned the issue could spell severe trouble for GP practice cash flow and urged practices to ask their ICB for bridging loans if necessary.

The October payment should still be made with the uplift incorporated.

NHS England’s GP bulletin said: ‘The uplift is backdated to April 2023, with April to September arrears payments being made in November – and practices should now pass this on to all salaried general practice staff as soon as possible.’

GPC chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer said: ‘This is deeply regretful. The uplift was announced by DDRB on 19 July, and the SFE was always set to be published on 2 October.

‘Many practices may have committed to passing on paylifts that they expected to receive in this month’s pay run, and may now find themselves in a cashflow predicament.

‘We note that NHSE have advised that the uplift should be passed on “as soon as possible.”

‘We will be reaching out to NHSE to recommend aligning their messaging with their pay run, and would encourage practices in need to approach their ICBs regarding a bridging loan should this be necessary, as monies may have been committed in good faith creating inadvertent practice financial pressures.’

The global sum has been increased for 2022/23 by £2.45, from £102.28 to £104.73, as reported last week.

This accounted for a 3.9% uplift to staffing expenses, which is on top of a 2.1% uplift earlier in the year – together this totalled a global sum increase of £233.14m. 

The BMA defended the outcome of its negotiations with the Department of Health and Social Care, which it said had concluded satisfactorily, in light of criticism by some GP partners.

Although securing the uplift via the global sum is a blunt tool which means it will impact practices differently depending on staffing, it does ensure it is recurring for future years.

A version of this story first appeared on our sister publication Pulse.