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Careers

Welsh GPs to receive 1% pay rise

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1157 (Published 06 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j1157
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}bmj.com

The 2017-18 Welsh GP contract will deliver a 1% pay increase, the Welsh government has said.

In a speech to the annual conference of the Welsh local medical committees in Newport on Saturday 4 March, Vaughan Gething, Welsh cabinet secretary for health, wellbeing, and sport, announced changes to the GP contract for 2017-18.1

The Welsh government said that as a result of contract changes agreed between itself, the BMA’s Welsh General Practitioner’s Committee (GPC Wales), and NHS Wales, investment in general medical services would increase by around £27m (€31m; $33m).

This investment includes an uplift of 2.7% for GP pay and expenses for 2017-18, which covers a pay increase of 1% for GPs, a general expenses uplift of 1.4% to cover practice costs, and a contribution towards the rising costs of professional indemnity.

It also includes a contribution towards the costs of pensions administration; an increase in funding for maternity leave, parental leave, and sickness absence; and a contribution towards the business improvement levy.

The investment also includes provision for new enhanced services covering care homes, warfarin management, diabetes, and the delivery of secondary care initiated phlebotomy tests, the Welsh government said.

GPC Wales, the Welsh government, and NHS Wales have also agreed to work together to modernise the contract to better meet the needs of the public and GPs. This includes improving access to services, reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, and tackling the rising costs of GP professional indemnity.

Commenting on the contract changes, Gething said, “We have worked closely with our GP colleagues to create solutions that deliver the best care for patients. I’m confident that this approach of working in partnership is the right one, as we continue to transform primary care in Wales. It provides a strong platform for GPs to continue to provide high quality, sustainable healthcare”

Charlotte Jones, chair of GPC Wales, said that she welcomed the Welsh government’s collaborative approach. “The contract changes announced today will be part of a longer piece of work to review the entire contract and make it fit for the future,” Jones said. “GPC Wales is looking forward to engaging in ongoing collaborative discussions over the months ahead.”

She added, “Additionally, we welcome the ongoing investment into clusters, the recently announced £40m for premises development, and the £95m for training healthcare professionals that will support primary care. These funds go hand in hand with today’s announcement, with the ultimate aim of strengthening primary care.”

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