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General practice doctor: Salary and conditions

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  • Junior doctors in their first year of postgraduate foundation training earn a basic salary of around £22,636. The basic salary in Foundation Year 2 increases to £28,076. They also receive a supplement or banding according to the rotation. This is based on the intensity of work and the number of hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week and/or work outside the hours of 7am - 7pm, Monday - Friday.
  • A doctor in specialist training has a basic starting salary of £30,002.
  • Doctors in training are paid extra if they work more than 40 hours or they work outside the hours of 7am to 7pm, Monday to Friday. This is usually between 20% and 50% of the basic salary.
  • Salaried GPs employed directly by a primary care trust (PCT) earn between £54,319 and £81,969.
  • The profit of GPs who are self-employed and hold NHS contracts varies depending on the services they provide and how they choose to provide them.
  • Typically, a GP should be available to hold morning, afternoon and/or evening surgeries (usually eight surgeries a week) between 8am and around 6.30pm. Many also offer extended opening hours and weekend appointments. This may mean the surgery is open until 8pm on certain evenings or on Saturday mornings.
  • GPs also make home visits when patients are unable to attend the surgery and travel during the day within the locality is a common feature of the work.
  • Some GPs work 'out of hours' (on-call work) and during weekends and/or public holidays.
  • The majority of GPs are independent contractors, so the European Working Time Directive limiting the number of hours employed staff (particularly junior doctors) can work does not apply, although the Directive does apply to other practice staff.
  • Many GP practices offer opportunities for part-time work or flexible working schedules.
  • NHS Professionals  manages locum placements.
  • Career breaks are possible, with return facilitated by 'retainer' or 'returner' schemes.
  • More than half of GPs are women and the Medical Women's Federation  works for the provision of needs particularly felt by women in the profession.
  • GPs are recognised and respected members of the community.
  • GPs are part of Clinical Commissioning Groups, which are responsible for planning and designing local health services.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by AGCAS editors
October 2013

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