Editorial Comment

To Pay a Pay Rise?

Drawings versus a Pay Rise

Now is the time of year to be thinking about staff pay and a cost of living pay rise. But are you being faced with the NO word. If you are is there any justification for a NO. What do you think Practice Staff should and deserve to receive?

My State Pension will increase in April by 3.1%.   If I worked 37.5 hours per week this would give me just £4.50 an hour. Curiously this is the same rate of pay an Apprentice might receive under the National Minimum Wage.

However, some Practices have already decided either not to give any pay rise or give one according to whatever advance information they have heard from  NHS England. In the mainstream NHS the usual practice is to wait until funding is clear and received usually around October before coughing up.

I can understand that some Practices might find it difficult to balance their books. Over the years a Practice might not have been a high earning Practice leaving little or nothing spare in the kitty.  

Nevertheless, I’ve always asked myself whether the partners drawings have gone up, gone down or remained static. I have experienced on a number of occasions where a partner or partners have decided not to take their drawings for a month or more whilst ensuring that the staff are paid. 

I can understand how tight budgets might be where Practices employ more Salaried doctors leaving little or no flexibility in managing the money.  So, where does the answer lie. My view has always been that GP Practices if they want to be regarded as part of the NHS and proudly use the NHS logo on their headed notepaper and on their sign boards should stick with NHS terms and conditions and more importantly pay. Otherwise Practice staff continue in the pay stakes to drift away from their colleagues elsewhere in the NHS. Remember this affects the value of your pension. You might not think that now but you will when you retire.

So ask your employer for a cost of living increase! Do your research on the current state of the cost of living. Look at the Consumer Price Index, and the increases awarded for the National Living Wage. Mention the cases put forward by the trade union UNISON  and the RCN. Point out that Salaried GPs should follow NHS increases. Argue that Nurses will expect the same term, conditions and pay, although should not all Practice Staff be on the same pay, terms and conditions.  A decent increase will help retain staff and stem the tide of staff leaving or wanting to reduce their days and hours

And finally, think of yourself and your own salary. You are usually an employee.  Your role is to present the arguments. If no at first try again. Good luck!


Robert Campbell

By Robert Campbell<br><img src="" alt="Robert Campbell" class="avatar" width='50' height='50'/>

Started work writing medical cards in 1966 at Staffordshire Executive Council. Have worked at Inner London Executive Council, Hertfordshire Executive Council, Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham FPC, Birmingham FPC, Dudley FPC and Wakefield FPC and Family Health Services Authority. I was seconded to the NHS Appeals Unit and have worked as a full time GP practice manager since 1992 until 2010. I was also an AMSPAR trainer at Park Lane College, Leeds. Now I work as a freelance author.