Gradual fall in GP income continues

ots-southport and formby dgh outside_0

The average income before tax of contractor GPs was £103,000 in 2011/12, a drop of 1.1 per cent on 2010/11.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show a continuation of the gradual fall in contractor GP incomes from their peak at £110,000 in 2005/06, the year after new contracting arrangements were introduced. Contractor GPs form the majority (around 80 per cent) of the GP workforce.

GP Earnings and Expenses 2011/12 provides figures on the earnings and expenses of full and part-time GPs across the UK and covers both their NHS and private income.

Today’s report shows that average gross earnings for contractor GPs were £267,900, a 0.5 per cent increase on 2010/11. Contractor GPs pay for expenses such as premises and practice staff wages out of their gross earnings – and these costs showed a greater percentage increase than earnings, rising by 1.6 per cent to £164,900. The proportion of their gross earnings taken up by expenses rose by 0.7 percentage points to 61.6 per cent.

The report also shows that in 2011/12:

• Around half of contractor GPs (50.3 per cent) had an income before tax of less than £100,000, roughly the same proportion as in 2010/11 when 48.9 per cent fell into this bracket.

• Two in 100 contractor GPs (2.0 per cent or 670) had an income of more than £200,000 before tax. In 2010/11 720 GPs (2.2 per cent) did so.

• Income tends to be higher for single-hander GPs; their average income before tax was £116,000.  Average incomes before tax was £103,800 for GPs in practices with two to three doctors, £99,500 for GPs in practices with four to five doctors and £103,500 for GPs in practices with six or more doctors.

• Contractor GPs in England earn on average more than their counterparts in other parts of the UK. Average incomes before tax were £106,100 in England, £93,300 in Wales, £92,800 in Northern Ireland and £88,700 in Scotland.

• Average income before tax for contractor GPs in 2004/05, when the current contracting arrangements were introduced, was £100,200 in cash terms and £119,300 in real terms.

HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: “This report provides a detailed insight into the income of GPs and their practice expenses, showing that the average income before tax of a contractor GP is £103,000.

The data confirm a continued gradual decline in average GP incomes and will provide a useful contribution to discussions over the remuneration of the family doctors.”

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