GPs could face a cut in take-home pay after the Department of Health rejected a plea from the BMA to change the way practice expenses are taken into account.
The BMA has made an official submission to the Doctors and Dentists Remuneration Body for 2013/14 asking the pay review body to rewrite the current “uplift formula” it uses to calculate a recommended gross increase in funding.
The BMA says that rising practice expenses and new costs associated with CQC registration and revalidation means that the “uplift formula” needs urgent changes.
“The formula used by the DDRB for calculating pay uplifts need revising in light of evidence that gross and net GP earnings have failed to keep pace with inflation and rising staff costs,” said the BMA.
“Average GP net income has consistently failed to reach the review body recommendation or indeed the Government’s proposed caps.”
The DDRB has said it has not made a decision whether to change the uplift formula, but the Department of Health has already instructed the body not to make new recommendations, and is determined to use the current formula to calculate the gross uplift required to deliver a 1% net income increase – which the BMA said would deliver an actual decrease in GPs take home pay.
The BMA has cited new CQC registration costs of between £550 and £850 for most practices in the first year as a factor in the decrease in pay, and claimed “the share of premises in total expenses has continued to rise faster than general inflation.”
A spokesman for the Department for Health said their position remains the same as that outlined in a letter by the former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in July in which he said there was no need for new DDRB recommendations because the current formula “provided a well-established basis for calculating the gross uplift needed to deliver a 1% increase in net income after allowing for expenses.”