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GPs income in the UK continues to decline as expenses increase

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures

The average income before tax of contractor GPs2 was £102,000 in 2012/13, a drop of 0.9 per cent on 2011/12 according to the latest report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The gradual fall continues in contractor GP incomes from their peak at £110,000 in 2005/06, the year after new contracting arrangements were introduced.

The average gross earnings for contractor GPs was £271,800, an increase of 1.4 per cent on 2011/12. However, their expenses rose by 2.9 per cent to £169,700. Contractor GPs form the majority of the GP workforce (around 80 per cent), from their gross earnings they pay for expenses such as premises and practice staff wages.

The GP Earnings and Expenses report 2012/13 provides a detailed study of the NHS and private earnings and expenses of GPs contracted to the NHS.

The report also shows that in 2012/13:

  • The average income before tax for GPs (contractor and salaried)3 in the UK was £92,900 for those GPs working in either a GMS or PMS (GPMS) practice compared to £94,200 in 2011/12, a decrease of 1.4 per cent.
  • The average income before tax for salaried GPs in the UK was £56,400 compared to £56,800 in 2011/12, showing a slight decrease of 0.6 per cent.
  • For both GMS and PMS GP contracts, the largest expenses category is 'Employee'.

The UK Dental Earnings and Expenses 2012/13 report and the Dental Working Hours 2012/13 and 2013/14 report are also released today. The UK Dental Earnings and Expenses, 2012/13 report shows that there was a drop in taxable income, in:

  • England and Wales, for all self-employed primary care dentists (i.e. Providing-Performer and Performer Only dentists) to £72,600, compared to £74,400 in 2011/12, a 2.4 per cent decrease.
  • Northern Ireland, for all self-employed GDS dentists (i.e. Principals and Associates) to £71,600, compared to £75,800 in 2011/12, a 5.6 per cent decrease.
  • Scotland, for all self-employed GDS dentists (i.e. Principals and Associates) was £68,800, compared to £71,700 in 2011/12, a 4.0 per cent decrease.

The Dental Working Hours 2012/13 and 2013/14 report shows a continuing drop in the proportion of time dentists spend on clinical work.

  • For England and Wales, self-employed primary care dentists (i.e. Providing-Performer and Performer Only dentists) reported that their time spent on dentistry in 2013/14 was split into 78.2 per cent on clinical work, a decrease from 85.4 per cent in 2008/09, and 21.8 per cent on non-clinical work4 (including administrative and management duties).
  • For Northern Ireland, self-employed GDS dentists (i.e. Principals and Associates), dentists reported that their time spent on dentistry in 2013/14 was split into 76.9 per cent on clinical work, a decrease from 85.5 per cent in 2008/09, and 23.1 per cent on non-clinical work4 (which include administrative and management duties).
  • For Scotland, self-employed GDS dentists (i.e. Principals and Associates), dentists reported that their time spent on dentistry in 2013/14 was split into 79.7 per cent on clinical work, a decrease from 86.1 per cent in 2008/09, and 20.3 per cent on non-clinical work4 (which include administrative and management duties).

HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning said: "These reports provide further insight into the income of GPs and Dentists that carry out NHS work in the UK.

"The data shows a gradual decline in average income of both GPs and dentists. Contractor GPs have seen an increase in their expenses, higher than the increase in their gross earnings, which has meant that their taxable income is less than last year."

GP Earnings and Expenses report: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB14924

Dental Earnings and Expenses report: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/dentalearnexp1213

Dental Working Hours report: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/dentalworkinghours1214

ENDS


Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 220 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.
  2. Contractor GPs in this report work under one of two types of contract - General Medical Services (GMS) contract or a Primary Medical Services (PMS) contract. Figures relating to contractor GPs in this release relate to the earnings and expenses of GPs working under either type of contract.
  3. A Contractor GP owns and has a share in a GP Practice whereas a Salaried GP is employed and paid a fixed salary within the Practice. In the GP Earnings and Expenses report, GPs are called combined GPs when talking about both Contractor and Salaried GPs together.
  4. There have been a number of initiatives in dentistry over the last few years that may have contributed to the increase in non-clinical work; these include registration and ongoing inspection regimes as well as more rigorous decontamination processes, initiatives in radiography and information governance training are also likely to have had an effect.
  5. The data source for the survey is HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) tax self-assessment database, which covers earnings and expenses from all self-employed professional earnings sources for contractor GPs and self-employed and employed professional earnings sources for salaried GPs.
  6. For media enquiries please contact media@hscic.gov.uk or 0300 303 3888.
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