Practice managers' incomes have been hit by a fall in profit-related bonuses this year, in a sign that a "squeeze" on practice funding is starting to take effect.
A survey of more than 1,300 managers from across the UK has revealed that, on average, practice managers' incomes rose by 1.47% overall in the last financial year – a substantial reduction on the 4.6% recorded in a similar survey conducted in 2007.
While practice managers' basic pay rose by 2.16%, profit-related bonuses paid to some managers dropped by 17% for the second consecutive year. The average manager's income is now £36,095 compared to £35,556 in 2007, although there are substantial variances due to location and practice size.
For smaller practices (with less than 5,000 patients), the average manager's income is now £29,875 (£29,500 in 2007), and for the very largest practices (with more than 14,000 patients), the average is £44,225 (£41,800 in 2007).
Analyst Steve Morris, who designed and collated the survey for First Practice Management, said: "A real slow-down in income growth has been noticed this year, and in particular the number of practices not paying a QOF or other target performance bonus to managers has risen markedly, from 55% of practices last year to 61% this year – an important indicator that the financial squeeze on practices is beginning to bite.
"This is coupled with a period where GPs, managers and their staff are having to work harder and harder to maintain the status quo in terms of income and patient care by engaging in directed enhanced service (DES) and local enhanced service (LES) initiatives – for example extended opening and practice-based commissioning.
"There is a real desire by GP partners to properly reward and pay staff for their efforts; however, the reality in many cases is that there is no bottomless pot".
Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
"Yes , there are GPS WHO DO NOT PAY ANY BONUSES AT ALL TO MANAGERS OR STAFF. In my opinion, generosity does not come automatically from GPS, these things have to be dealt with by PCT to ensure quality in practices. The QOF and all other DESs force staff and mangers to work harder, but there is nobody to ensure their share of financial benefit" – Nazma Ansari, Barnet