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Staff Salary Survey 2020 Analysis : Are Practice Staff ‘under-appreciated’ by Clinicians?

The results of the 2020 Practice Staff Salary Survey are in and on the whole, it is good news, with most roles being paid either in line with or above the market average.

There does seem to be a theme that runs throughout the Survey this year however, which is that non-clinical staff are not remunerated to the same extent as clinical staff, even if their qualification level is the same.

Which Career Path Offers the Most Opportunity?

One of the more surprising figures to come out of the survey is the difference between an entry level Receptionist position and an entry level Clinical position. Comparing the average salary for a Receptionist with that of a Healthcare Assistant makes for interesting reading - the average Receptionist wage* is £9.15ph with an HCA average wage being £10.81ph.

If we put this into yearly salaries, a Receptionist working full time on £9.15ph will receive £17,842 per year. An HCA working full time will receive £21,079. This is a huge difference of £3,237 per year.

Of course, both careers are vastly different and include diverse skill sets, however both career options would be available to somebody looking to start a career in Primary Care and practices offer entry level positions for both roles.

(*Average of Junior and Senior Receptionist roles according to survey results)

 

Is Management an Undervalued skill?

The results mentioned above are similarly replicated in other, more senior roles within the practice. Roles within the practice such as Finance Manager, IT Manager and Reception Supervisor are all underpaid significantly compared to the market average.

This survey does not take into account the complexity of such roles and sizes of the practice or demands of the job, but we can see vast differences in the salaries of these roles compared to the market average:

Job Title

Average Pay

Market Average

Difference

Finance Manager

£31,119

£40,068

-£8,949

IT Manager

£26,729

£31,920

-£5,191

Reception Supervisor

£21,646

£23,927

-£2,281


If we compare the above to clinical roles in the practice, a Salaried GP, for example is paid £19,000 more per year, than the market average for the role. A pharmacist is paid £3,339 more than the market average. The only clinical role within a practice to be underpaid compared to the market average is that of a Phlebotomist.

The Market Average figure is taken using a range of salaries for roles advertised by NHS Jobs, LMCs, FPM, independent recruitment services and other online job advertisement sites for primary care roles.

Is there a Balance Returning?

The salary for Salaried GPs is the only salary to have fallen dramatically in 2020 vs 2019. The average Salaried GP is being paid £4.14 less per hour, than they were in 2019.  This could help to explain why the average Salaried GP in our survey was receiving £19,000 more per year than the market average, suggesting that a balance may be returning with practices either choosing or not being able to pay as much as they could for a Salaried GP in 2019.

How Does Primary Care compare to other Public Services?

Based on our survey, the overall increase in pay for Practices for 2019/20 was 2.4%. Inflation this year is sitting at 1.2%, meaning that the Primary Care increase is almost twice that of inflation.

 According to a report, the average salary for a Public Sector full time worker is £31,844. That’s £2k more than the private sector. But how does Primary care compare to other public services?

Secondary Care Doctors: Have received a 2.8% increase to thank them for their efforts with battling Covid-19.

Dentists: 2.8%

Teachers: 3.1%

Police Officers: 2.5%

Armed Forces: 2%

Prison Officers: 2.5%

Civil Servants: 2%

Of course Primary Care follows a very different model to most other public services, but it is still positive to see that the majority of pay rises seems to fall in line with that of other public services.

Increase in GPs/ Nurses

A further interesting survey result was the number of GPs and Nurses per 1,000 patients over the last five years. We are all aware that the government has made a pledge to try and increase the number of GPs and Nurses within our healthcare system, and (although it may not always feel like it) according to our survey, the number of GPs and Nurses per 1000 patients has almost doubled in the past five years.

Role

Date

No per 1000 patients

GP

2015/2016

0.77

GP

2019/2020

1.34

 

Nurse

2015/2016

0.61

Nurse

2019/2020

1.37

 

These figures show that Nursing Staff per 1000 patients has increased by over 100% with GPs per 1000 patients almost doubling.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pay-rises-for-doctors-police-and-more-in-the-public-sector

FPM members can view the full results from this year’s Staff Salary Survey here.

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