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BMA seeking confirmation on whether 6% pay rise funding is ‘recurrent’

by Eliza Parr
24 July 2023

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The BMA is seeking confirmation from the Government on whether additional funding promised for practices to be able to afford a 6% staff pay rise this year will be ‘recurrent’.

Earlier this month, the Government accepted a pay review body recommendation for a 6% pay rise for NHS staff, which covered salaried GPs and other staff but excluded GP partners.

It then confirmed that practices will get a funding uplift to cover the pay rise, which will be backdated to April and should be ‘passed on promptly to all general practice staff’.

However, the BMA GP Committee for England’s acting chair Dr Kieran Sharrock has since written to BMA members saying the 6% uplift is ‘below inflation’ and ‘does not go far enough’ to help retention of staff.

He said: ‘We will urgently be seeking confirmation of additional contract funding to enable this funding of the uplift to be recurrent. Otherwise, it just kicks the can down the road.’

While Dr Sharrock said the committee ‘welcomes’ the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB) recommendations, the uplift ‘is just one of many cost pressures that practices faces, including energy and premises costs’.

He added: ‘We will therefore be asking why the Government has not funded this previously, as it has been an issue we have consistently raised.’

Junior doctors will also receive a 6% uplift, as well as an additional consolidated £1,250 increase – with the Prime Minister calling on the BMA to end ongoing strikes in response as this offer is ‘final’.

The Government has said funding for the pay rises will need to come from existing NHS funding with DHSC and NHS England having to ‘reprioritise’.

Dr Sharrock said: ‘The Government has persistently failed to invest in core general practice, which has seen practice income decline.

‘This is driving GP contractors either into sessional GP work or, indeed, out of the profession entirely. This has a direct negative impact on the number of GP practices and appointments citizens can access.’

A version of this story first appeared in our sister title Pulse