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Understanding GP Training Finances and Pay

As a GP Trainee, I used to hide my head in the sand when it came to GP finances. I was not sure what my payslip meant and was definitely not financially savvy. However, the aim of this blog is to share some nuggets that I wish someone told me about training costs and GP pay when I was a trainee. Please note I am not a financial expert and I would always advise you to seek advice from a financial advisor. Covered in this blog:

  • What is my average pay as an NHS GP trainee?
  • How is my hospital post pay worked out?
  • What is the GP premium?
  • What costs can I claim tax rebate for as a GP trainee?
  • Things to think about relating to finance as a trainee

Other blogs that may help as a GP trainee:

What is my Basic GP pay as a trainee?

Under the new Junior Doctor Contract (2016), trainees are paid according to their experience – this is known as nodal points. This is what people often refer to as the ‘GP pay scale.’ It is important as a trainee that you understand these points to ensure you are being rewarded correctly based on your experience i.e. the right nodal point.

Based on the new contract if you have had no other experience and have entered full time GP training, after completing your foundation programme training your basic GP pay will be calculated as below:

Grade of training Basic Pay
ST1-2 £38,693
ST3 £49,036

When you finish your training and become a qualified General Practitioner, you can apply for GP jobs and take on a position as a GP for the National Health Service. Once you do this, you will naturally receive a pay rise which will be calculated based on the GMS Contract, rather than the Junior Doctor Contract. The GMS Contract is the standard GP contract that is used once a General Practitioner finishes their traineeship. 

Rates of pay for qualified GPs and trainee GPs are in line with NHS England‘s pay ranges and are monitored and kept up to date by the Department of Health. 

Pay for your hospital posts as a GP trainee

Payment for your hospital posts as a GP trainee is calculated differently to your pay as a GP trainee in a GP placement.

For your hospital posts your GP pay would be calculated based on:

  • basic pay nodal point – as mentioned above minimum £38,693 
  • how many extra hours you do above the standard full time 40 hour contract (additional rostered hours)
  • weekend allowance
  • night duty
  • non-resident on call allowance
  • cash floor protection (eligible if you transitioned to the new Junior doctor contract 2016)

More information can be found here https://www.bma.org.uk/pay-and-contracts/pay/payslips/understanding-your-payslip-junior-doctors-on-the-2016-contract.

If you are a BMA member I would urge you to contact the BMA to check your payslip.

GP Premium

GP trainees are eligible for a ‘GP premium’ on top of their basic pay during their GP placements. The GP premium is £8789 per annum pro rata.

For many GP trainees in England and Wales, you are placed in a GP practice for 18 months, with 6 months usually being in your ST2 year and 12 months in your ST3 year.

In essence, this means in your ST3 year, when you spend the whole year in General Practice placement you will receive an additional £8789 on top of your basic pay which is £49,036. However, in your ST2 year where you may only spend 6 months, you will receive £4394.50 (half of £8789) on top of your £38,693 basic pay.

Tax rebate

Many healthcare trainees are unaware of the costs they can claim back as tax rebate during their trainee years. As a GP trainee we pay various professional fees and exam fees, most of which are eligible for tax rebate. Below are some of the most common fees we can claim tax rebate for:

  • GMC fees
  • BMA fees
  • Royal College fees
  • MRCGP Examination fees (possibly other examination fees too)
  • Indemnity fees e.g. MPS, MDU, MDDUS etc

Most of these organisations allow you to download the relevant documents when you login to your accounts.

There is more information available in this free guide produced by our Partners Medics Money https://www.medicsmoney.co.uk/free-guide/. However, if you unsure our advice would always be to seek advice from your accountant or a financial expert.

And finally….

Finally, as I mentioned at the beginning, I am not a financial expert, but have sought financial expert advice since qualifying as a GP. Life can be unpredictable, certainly amidst a pandemic and it is important to ensure we remain financially secure.

I would therefore urge you all to consider thinking about issues such as income protection, critical illness cover etc early on to ensure you and your loved ones are financially protected when needed.

I would recommend visiting our partner’s Medics Money site https://www.medicsmoney.co.uk for more information where they have lots of useful free resources and contacts of financial experts for medics.

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About us

Dr Aman Arora is a GP who is now 100% committed to transforming medical education, helping doctors across the globe to ace their exams and enhance their careers. He is proud to hold FRCGP (Fellow of Royal College of General Practitioners). Previous roles include:

  • GP Training Programme Director
  • NHS GP Appraiser
  • GMC PLAB 2 Examiner
  • GP Recruitment Examiner
  • GP Recruitment Question-writer
  • HEWM IMG Board Member
  • HEWM Advanced MRCGP AKT Trainer

Dr Pooja Arora is a GP with a background in Medical Politics, passionately focusing on improving the opportunities and working conditions for junior doctors. Previous roles include:

  • Vice Chair Birmingham LMC
  • BMA Council Member
  • BMA General Practitioners Committee elected representative 
  • BMA Sessional GP Committee elected representative 
  • BMA National Deputy Policy lead for working at scale
  • HEE GP Ambassador
  • HEE GP Stage 3 Assessor
  • RCGP Midland Faculty AiT representative

* Blogs written by Dr Aman and Dr Pooja Arora are not for professional, financial or medical advice. Please seek appropriate professional, legal or financial advice where appropriate *


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