The 2023/24 global sum contract is set to increase from its current rate of £102.28 to £104.73 per weighted patient.
Following the government’s announcement in July that it had accepted the recommendations of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration’s (DDRB) of pay rises for NHS staff, it has now confirmed that the funding within the GP contract will be uplifted and that practices will receive payments to backdate this increase to April 2023. This reflects an uplift to the staffing element of the contract of an additional 3.9% of funding, and is in addition to the 2.1% increase towards staff costs already within the contract since April 2023. In total practices will have received a 6% uplift in 2023/24 when compared to the staffing element of the 2022/23 contract. The funding will be distributed via the Global Sum.
For practices with a deduction for Out Of Hours (OOH) services, the 4.75% deduction will now equate to around £4.97 per weighted patient, up from £4.86.
This is also in addition to the increased funding for Primary Care Networks for Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) that took effect from 1 July 2023. Those increases were intended to reflect the Agenda for Change (AfC) salary increases for existing staff employed using ARRS funding.
For GP partners themselves there were no other changes to their pay as they remain subject to the terms of the 5-year agreement to 31 March 2024.
What do practices need to do now?
To receive this additional funding, no action is required to be taken by practices as it will be automatically paid via their monthly contract statements.
While all staff employed directly by NHS providers are subject to the announced pay increases, GP practices’ status as self-employed contractors with the NHS means that practices alone determine actual uplifts in pay for their own employees. However, GPCE and Sessional GP Committee has said it encourages practices to ‘pass it on’ to their salaried staff when it comes to receiving this additional funding within the GP Practice contract.
This uplifted funding should therefore contribute towards providing practices with the means to grant their employees with the pay rises that were recommended within the DDRB report should they choose to do so.
It should not be forgotten however that many practices will already have made some pay uplifts for their staff since April 2023 particularly those affected by national minimum wage. The recommended 6% will not be in addition to amounts already given but is the target of total uplift to be provided. It should also be noted that if a staff salary is increased by a percentage amount then the employer on-costs for National Insurance and Pension Contributions relating to the salary change will also increase.
When pay is changed for salaried GPs, practices should ensure that the pension contributions for their salaried GPs are updated to reflect any increased salaries. These pension contributions, deducted as payments on account throughout the year via the monthly contract, should be kept as accurate as possible to the actual pensionable pay of a GP to avoid large adjustments following the submission of end-of-year Type 2 certificates. The simplest way to update the level of contributions being deducted from the contract is for salaried GPs to submit updated Individual Estimates of Pensionable Pay/Profits via their PCSE Online portal. Alternatively, the practice can re-submit a full Estimate of Pensionable Pay/Profits with the updated figures for all their salaried GPs.
For all other staff, the practice should ensure that any backdated pay is properly subjected to pension contributions arrears that will need to be accounted for in the payroll in the month of the backpay adjustment. The practice’s payroll provider should be able to handle this if they are made aware of the backpay adjustments. In particular, if a pay rise has led to a member of staff changing to a higher pension tier rate then the pension arrears adjustment should take this into account to apply the new percentage to both the arrears and to the pension contributions going forwards.
To summarise, practices can look out for the increased funding in their monthly contract payments over the coming months and need to be aware of the above administrative actions that will need to be taken should there be changes to levels of staff pay. For more information, tips and advice with Estimates of Pensionable Pay, NHS Pensions and all your other specialist healthcare accounting needs please get in touch with our Healthcare Services team or contact us by using the form below.