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Joint RCN/ BMA GPCE statement on 6% pay uplift for general practice staff in England

23 October 2023

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and BMA General Practitioners Committee England (GPCE) welcome a pay uplift for general practice staff, announced earlier this year by the Westminster government.

However, they recognise that this announcement does not go far enough to address the impact of the current cost of living crisis and workforce attrition across general practice, including in the disparity between nurses and other general practice staff employment terms compared to other parts of the NHS. It is well understood that nurses in general practice play a fundamental role in health promotion and prevention.

Their role is essential to the provision of safe and effective care. Fair pay and attractive working conditions for all salaried staff are vital to secure and maintain the future of general practice.

Government confirmation of 6% pay uplift 2023/24 for general practice staff

Earlier this year the Westminster government announced that all salaried general practice staff in England, including nurses, should receive a 6% pay uplift.

The uplift agreed increases the staffing expenses element of GP contract funding by an additional 3.9% (on top of the 2.1% already added to the staffing expenses element of the contract in April 2023). This means the staffing expenses element of the national GP contract funding pot will have been uplifted by a total of 6% in 2023/24.

NHS England has confirmed that the uplift covers on-costs (national insurance, pension contributions and other staff benefits).

By November the additional 3.9% of funding will be distributed to practices via the Global Sum formula allocation. This uplift will be backdated to April 2023. It is then the responsibility of practices to decide arrangements for staff salary uplifts. We encourage employers to use this increase in funding as the opportunity to invest in their staff.

Why the uplift may not translate to a 6% uplift for all practice staff 

The way the expenses uplift is applied leads to some inequity amongst GP practices. It is distributed via the Global Sum – the payment per patient then varies following application of the Carr-Hill formula. This formula allocates funding per patient for each individual practice based on age/sex/additional needs/list turnover/staff market forces and rurality. This means some practices will not receive enough additional funding to cover an entire 6% uplift for all salaried staff members, whereas others will in fact get more than they need to do so.

Share intelligence about how your practice is impacted 

It will be important for us to hear local intelligence about how practices are impacted by this. This will allow the RCN and GPCE to gather insight into how the pay uplift conversations are going and to build a case to the government for fairer pay uplift mechanisms for all staff in general practice.

If you have concerns about receiving the uplift, ask your employer to be transparent about the additional percentage funding they have received for this intended uplift, and what calculations they have carried out to determine the pay increase they can offer you.

Future contract negotiations 

Securing recurrent pay uplifts for all practice staff is vital for the future success of general practice. Key to successfully negotiating with the government in forthcoming contract negotiations for 2024/25 and 2025/2026 is making the case that staff should be fairly paid and benefit from rewarding working conditions.

Collaborative working between GPCE and the RCN going forward

The RCN and GPCE are committed to working closely together to ensure fully funded fairer terms for nurses in general practice as an integral part of the general practice team.

The evidence base and role of nursing staff in general practice is well proven, and their familiarity with patients as trusted regulated nursing professionals is unquestioned.

We believe the key to successful recruitment and retention of these essential roles lies in securing contractual parity with trust nursing roles, through protected funding and dedicated development programmes.

Patricia Marquis, Director of England, Royal College of Nursing

Katie Bramall-Stainer, Chair BMA General Practice Committee England 


Page last updated - 26/03/2024