Do our NHS workers need more recognition? Do you think they need “time out” after this long Covid pandemic?

According to recent news the government has announced that it would only award a 3% pay increase to salaried GP’s, NHS & other primary care staff for the financial year 2021/2022. The Government appears to have significantly changed its stance from initially proposing a 1% rise, which was described by Unions as a kick in the teeth.  The UK government currently has a 5 year GP contract which began back in 2019 and according to this contract general practice is only inline for a 2.1% funding increase for 2021/22.

Therefore, the initial 3% increase announced this week excludes GP partners from any additional pay increases due to the government freezing multi-year pay agreements. This sting in the tail may result in GP partners having to reduce their own pay or indeed dip into their own financial resources to award pay to salaried GP’s and other practice staff.

According to Digital NHS as of March 2020 there are now 28096 FTE GP’s (excluding registrars) that is 1,261 more than the year before.  Fully qualified Nurses total 16,801, only 4 more than in 2020.

However, according to a really good report written by author Billy Palmer for the Nuffield Trust across the UK, the number of GP’s relative to the size of the population has fallen in a sustained way for the first time since the 1960’s.

This fall in GP numbers has been particularly marked in certain regions such as the North West London & the East of England.  The fall in GP’s per person reflects insufficient numbers previously being trained and going on to join the NHS.  Failures to recruit enough GP’s from abroad and more practitioners leaving for early retirement.

According to a joint report carried by the Health Foundation & The King’s fund the shortfall of GP’s could grow to around 4,500 FTE in 5 years unless urgent action is taken by the UK government.

Are you one of our front line and very much needed NHS staff?  What do you think should be done about this looming NHS crisis? How are you coping in Practice today? Indeed, is there light at the end of this tunnel or do you need time out?