Do GPs deserve their recent pay rise?

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7520.800 (Published 6 October 2005)
Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:800.1

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  1. Nicholas Timmins, public policy editor
  1. Financial Times

    Although targets in the new GP contract may have been set too low, Nick Timmins hopes that the exercise will still drive up the quality of care

    Health ministers and NHS staff often complain that the media rarely cover any good news about the NHS. The new GP contract, with its quality and outcomes framework, is an exception to the rule.

    It is, of course, true that the odd headline about “fat cat” GPs did appear after last month's news that family doctors across the United Kingdom had achieved 90% of the maximum 1050 points for hitting the wide range of targets for care and access set out in the new contract. The new contract was intended to deliver something in the region of a 30% pay rise for family doctors over three years. The quality and outcomes framework was an important part of that. It looks to have more than delivered.

    But even a national newspaper such as the Daily Express (Sep 1:2)—not instinctively sympathetic to the NHS—opened its story with the words “most family doctors are providing their patients with a high quality of care that beats expectations.” Local newspapers went further. “Sutton surgeries receive top marks,” declared the Sutton Coldfield Observer (Sep 2:16). “Triumph,” said the Huddersfield …

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