GPs earning more than £150,000 will be named in new ‘transparency drive’ 

Pharmacists and physios to take over routine GP appointments

 

Doctors who are paid more than £150,000 per year by the NHS will be publicly named from 2020, under a new GP contract.

The average GP partner earns £105,000, but the highest paid earners – usually those working in several surgeries – have been found to be earning as much as £700,000.

The transparency drive is part of a new five-year GP contract drawn up by the NHS and the British Medical Association (BMA).

It comes alongside plans to employ 20,000 pharmacists, physiotherapists and paramedics to take over many routine GP appointments.

NHS doctors already have to publish their average earnings on the practices’ own websites so patients can see them, following legislation in 2016.

But those earning more than the Prime Minister – whose salary is around £150,000 – will now be listed on a national database.

Richard Vautrey, the BMA’s GP committee chair, said: “We have recognised that there is increasingly a call for transparency to be put in place”.

“We accept GPs who earn more than £150,000 from NHS earnings, for their pay to be published from 2020,” he told magazine Pulse.

“Linked to this, NHS England and the Government are going to be exploring similar arrangements for other NHS contractors.”

Pharmacists and physiotherapists will take over routine appointments from family doctors in a bid to cut waiting times at GP surgeries.

A new GP contract will see an army of 20,000 practice staff recruited in the hope it will improve access to services.  

The new deal also promises to speed up access to video and web consultations – with patients given the right to Skype their GP within two years.

As part of the £4.5 million deal, GP practices will receive extra money, if their efforts are shown to have cut needless hospital visits, by keeping patients healthier for longer.

Health officials claim the recruitment of thousands more support staff would free up GPs – meaning they could give longer appointments to the sickest patients.

Paramedics, medical assistants and support workers will be among the expanded workforce, employed to deal with routine cases.

Officials said pharmacists could carry out detailed medicines reviews, while community paramedics would be employed to carry out home visits, sparing the frail elderly from trips to surgeries. The expansion of physiotherapy would mean more patients were offered musculo-skeletal checks, reducing their risk of falls, in a bid to keep pensioners independent for longer, while reducing pressures on hospitals, officials said.

The plans aim to ensure closer working between community and hospital services, with more care closer to home.

Simon Stevens, head of the NHS, said the five year deal was “the biggest boost to primary care in more than 15 years” promising it would make services more convenient for patients.

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