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GP earnings increase but expenses ‘rise faster than income’

By Caitlin Tilley
19 August 2021

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The average earnings across all types of GPs in England increased by 2.7% last year, according to official data. 

However GP partner expenses have been rising faster than their income, NHS Digital said. 

The yearly publication for 2019/20 said the average GP partner earned £121,800 before tax – a ‘statistically significant’ 3.8% increase from 2018/19 – while the average income for salaried GPs rose by 4.9%, from £60,600 to £63,600.

The data also showed that GP partners’ expenses rose by 6.5%, to £280,800. 

Overall, the average earnings for all GPs across England increased by 2.7% to £100,700. 

NHS Digital statistics showed that the ratio of expenses to earnings, which represents the proportion of gross earnings taken up by expenses, was 69.7% in 2019/20 – an 0.5% point increase since 2018/19.

The report said: ‘Since 2005/06, expenses have been increasing at a faster rate than income before tax for GPMS contractor GPs in England, resulting in an expenses to earnings ratio which has grown each year.’

Last year, an independent review found that GPs have the highest gender pay gap among doctors working in the NHS, with women earning significantly less than men.

Data from January 2020 also found that almost 90% of GPs earn less than £100,000 a year, despite the figures highlighting that payment stretches to more than £600,000 in one case.

In October 2019, a study found that GP partners’ income decreased by 10% in real terms over a nine-year period, which ‘may have contributed to current recruitment and retention problems’.

This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.

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