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Net rise in the cost of providing the dispensing service

Expenses up by more than earnings

September 3rd 2019

Tagged: NHS statistical reports

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Latest earnings estimates for UK dispensing GPs show a net increase in the cost of providing the dispensing service.

The NHS data, GP Earnings and Expenses Estimates, 2017/18, shows that expenses for UK GPMS dispensing GPs rose 5.8 per cent during 2017-18, compared to a rise in earnings of 4.8 per cent, increasing the ratio of expenses to earnings by 0.7 per cent.

This equates to gross earnings in 2017-18 for UK GPMS dispensing GPs of £421,300 and expenses of £301,700. Of these expenses, employee costs account for the majority of expenditure (50.9 per cent) – with ‘other’, which includes drug costs, accounting for 30.4 per cent.

The average income before tax for dispensing and non-dispensing contractor GPs in the UK in 2017/18 was:

  • £119,700 for GPMS dispensing GPs compared to £117,100 in 2016/17, an increase of 2.2 per cent, which is not statistically significant
  • £107,200 for GPMS non-dispensing GPs compared to £103,400 in 2016/17, an increase of 3.7 per cent.

Broken down by nation, Scottish dispensing GPMS GPs have the lowest expenses to earnings ratio at 63.8 per cent, and growing at a rate of 0.6 per cent during 2017-18. The equivalent Welsh ratio shows the same rate of growth, ending the year with a ratio of 67.9 per cent.

England has the highest expenses to earnings at 72.1 per cent, growing by 0.7 per cent.

The report puts the resident 2017/18 dispensing contractor population at 4,050, up from 3,900 in 2016-17.