GP income has fallen £6,000 in the past five years, official figures show.
Data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows GP income before tax in the UK fell 1.5% alone to £104,100 in 2010/11.
Despite the drop, GP income for 2010/11 was still up on 2004/05 – the year when the new contracting arrangements were introduced – when it stood at £100,170.
However, GP Earnings and Expenses 2010/11 shows the number of top-earning contractor GPs –with income before tax of more than £200,000 – fell to 720 (2.2% of the total) from 900 (2.6%) the previous year.
While the report shows the average gross earnings for UK contracted GPs rose to £266,500 – a 1.5% increase on 2009/10 – expenses also rose 3.5% from 2009/10 to £162,400 in 2010/11.
“Our report shows that income has fallen for contractor GPs since it reached its peak in 2005/06,” said Tim Straughan, Chief Executive of HSCIC.
“From our figures, we can see that the fall in actual income before tax for the latest year is influenced by the increase in expenses that practices are facing. While contractor GPs’ gross earnings are continuing to move upwards, this small rise is offset by the bigger increase they face in the cost of running their practices.”
The average income before tax of contractor GPs in England was found to be higher than those in the other UK countries – £107,700 compared to £89,300 in Scotland, £92,300 in Wales and £88,000 in Northern Ireland.