GPs set for 1% pay rise after new contract deal
GPs have agreed a new contract which will see them get a 1% pay rise.
The new deal, reached after negotiations between NHS England, the Government and the British Medical Association's GP Committee, will come into effect in April.
As part of the agreement, £220 million will be invested in services for the next financial year, part of which will go towards the pay rise.
The new contract is the first part of a bigger package to be rolled out as part of an attempt to reform general practice, NHS England said.
Chief executive Simon Stevens said: " Today's welcome agreement between NHS England and the BMA provides GPs with some stability and support, and shows what can be achieved through sensible and constructive negotiation.
"However, this contract is only one small element of a far wider package we're jointly developing to help practices with workload, workforce and care redesign."
The reform to services will include "radical" changes including potential changes to working hours, Mr Stevens said.
He said: "That will require radical new options, including further support for GP recruitment and return to practice, funding for additional primary care staff, new options for practice premises, a reduction in paper-based red tape, alternative approaches to indemnity cover, and redesigned out-of-hours, 111 and extended hours arrangements, to name just a few - all underpinned by much greater team working across individual practices."
There will be further discussions on national efforts to cut back on bureaucracy, advising people on the appropriate use of GP services and options for "self-care", and arrangements for sickness payments and how practice expenses are calculated.
There will also be talks on arrangements for patients to declare if they hold a E uropean Health Insurance Card or S1 or S2 forms, which cover healthcare in other countries within the European Economic Area.
As part of the deal GP practices will, over the next four years, have to record their availability on evenings and weekends for "routine appointments".
They will also be required to record the number of times each year when a practice pays out a higher rate to a locum doctor, above NHS England's maximum rate of pay.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "GPs are the bedrock of the NHS and I am determined to provide the support they need so they can spend more time with patients. Today's deal is just the start of significant new investment for general practice which will help GPs to provide a truly modern, efficient service every day of the week."
Stephen Golledge, lead negotiator for the NHS Employers organisation, welcomed the agreement, which comes after months of negotiations.
He said: "The changes will deliver considerable improvements in the quality of care provided to patients alongside a significant increase in the level of investment in primary care.
"It will also help to alleviate some of the pressures GPs have experienced in recent years.
"We recognise that more progress is needed to respond to GP concerns about workload and we remain committed to work with the BMA General Practitioners Committee."