GP partners earn more for working fewer hours

Although the average pay of a general practice (GP) partner has risen by 58% since 2002-2003, GPs are working on average seven hours less each week than in 1992.

According to NHS Pay Modernisation:New Contracts for General Practice Services in England published by the National Audit Office, in 2005-2006 the annual average salary of a GP partner (who is self employed) was £113,614. However, GPs, who are employed by the partners report that their pay has stayed the same or decreased over the last year. This is because GP partners have taken more profit from the practice as their own salary.

Tim Burr, head of the National Audit Office, said: “There is no doubt that a new GP contract was needed and there are now 4,000 more GPs than five years ago. But in return for higher pay, we have yet to see real increases in productivity. The extra money flowing into practices has largely benefited GP partners rather than rewarding other important members of the practice team. Primary Care Trusts now need to deliver to patients the benefits that were expected in return for GPs increase in pay.”