The Scottish Government has said that GP practices will receive a 3% pay uplift for 2018/19, which will provide the funds for a 3% pay rise for practice staff.
The overall annual contractual uplift for Scotland in 2018/19 is 3.42% and will be backdated to 1 April 2018. The Government said that this would cover a 3% pay uplift for GP contractors as well as a 3% increase to practice staff pay. However, any staff pay increase will be decided by each individual practice.
Norman Provan, associate director of Royal College of Nursing Scotland, said: ‘Practice nurses play a crucial role in our primary care services. Independent GP contactors must recognised this and ensure that practice nurses see an uplift in pay in line with that agreed for NHS staff on agenda for change.’
Although the offer falls short of the 4% increase recommended by the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB), it is one percentage point higher than the pay rise that practice nurses in England will receive in the same period.
Health secretary Jeane Freeman said: ‘Scotland’s health service is founded on the incredible contribution of its staff and this agreement recognises the role played by our doctors and dentists.
‘By offering fair pay increases we can help to support recruitment and retention of staff, encouraging health professionals to build their careers in Scotland’s NHS.’
Chair of the Scottish section of the British Medical Association, Peter Bennie, said the below-recommendation pay award was ‘simply not good enough’.
New BMA Scotland GP Committee chair Dr Andrew Buist said: ‘I am of course disappointed they have not accepted in full the DDRB recommendation. However, compared to other groups we have done relatively well. That said pay is a key part of addressing our recruitment and retention problems.
‘To be fair our Government has recognised the importance of reform of the way general practice is supported and provided with significant and rising funding in direct support of general practice over the next three years to deliver on our new contract. We must not lose sight of that prize.’