Comparisons between rural and urban areas could be used to highlight difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff in rural areas and to support the case for greater NHS pay differentiation, a review of the methodology used to determine doctors’ pay has found.
Researchers have also acknowledged concerns relating to recruitment and retention of GPs in rural areas and places with no direct hospital training link.
The review of doctors’ pay was conducted by the Institute for Employment Studies on behalf of the DDRB in the aim of updating current pay comparability methodology which was last reviewed in 2008.
In a memorandum of evidence to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration published in September, the BMA warned that “across all specialties, there are significant issues around recruitment to remote and rural geographies that require internationally competitive remuneration packages”.
Among nine recommendations, researchers call for new separate descriptors and levels for GPs when determining pay to reflect the mix of partner or salaried GPs within a practice and better use of market data.
They also recommend comparisons with the terms and conditions on offer to doctors overseas; researchers said: “Although there is little evidence of greater numbers actually moving overseas most interviewees said interest in exploring this had grown, particularly since the Brexit vote.”