A new report from NHS Digital has revealed that GP practices in England received £154.81 in payments per patient in 2018/19, which represents a 0.7 per cent increase (£1.04 per patient).
According to the report, the payments for last year, which included premises payments and dispensing fees, incorporated changes to the 2018/19 GP contract, which saw total funding increase by 3.4 per cent.
Under that contract, which included a one per cent pay increase for GPs, there was an extra £256.3 million to cover rising expenses including £60 million to cover the rising cost of indemnity cover.
This figure is at odds with NHS data released last month that appeared to show that average earnings across all types of GP across the UK increased by 2.5 per cent last year. However, this could be because of dwindling GP numbers, meaning that the total was shared amongst fewer doctors.
Commenting on the report, a spokesperson for the British Medical Association’s (BMA) GP Committee said that the marginal increase in the year up to April this year is “completely inadequate”.
They added that in the same period, the number of patients that are registered at practices in England increased by more than 700,000, while in excess of 440 full time equivalent GPs left. As a result, doctors and their teams are being “stretched to their limits”.
The spokesperson added that the payment per patient to practices amounted to “astonishing value for money for the Government”, adding that it demonstrates how hard GPs are working to care for their patients.