The average GP doesn’t earn this much, but anyway, earning 300K as an NHS GP is now possible. How? The usual way is for one GP to be the managing director of several NHS surgeries. Most will employ salaried doctors and nurses to deliver care; the profit becomes singularly that of the managing doctor/director. It’s not illegal, and in fact it is a structure which is being positively encouraged by the government past and present – and PCTs who want to franchise out bits of the NHS to private providers who work on this model.
I don’t like it. I work in a practice where all doctors are partners. It means that we all have a say in how things are run, which means checks and balances as a constant. It means we have the chance to develop clinical interests and follow them through, it means that we are careful about the use of resources and as efficient as possible. It also means that stable medical staffing is more likely, as one is tied in to a small contracting business. That doesn’t mean that salaried or locum doctors aren’t also valuable and useful to patients and the NHS – not at all. Many practices employ salaried doctors where that doctor, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to be responsible or tied in to the business, organisational side of the practice. But a pure business model, where one doctor/manager is overseeing many practices I think is a step too far for the lure of ‘efficiency savings’. The cost savings which attract private providers to the area do come from somewhere, and that is mainly in front line staff. Is it right for the NHS to be allowing such profit to be drawn?