If your employer or GP practice is part of a site testing a new model of care or has plans to develop one, this may affect your contract of employment.
If your employer retains their G/PMS contract, then they are contractually bound to offer 'terms no less favourable' than the model contract for salaried GPs. However, if the employer is not a holder of a GMS, or PMS contract that has signed the 2015/16 agreement, then it is possible that you will be offered a contract that is not based on the nationally agreed terms and conditions of service.
In such cases it is extremely important to understand what you are signing up to in advance and we would strongly recommend to contact the BMA's contract checking service, which is free for BMA members, to assist with the process.
Under the 'virtual' and the 'partially integrated' models, practices retain their G/PMS contracts and are therefore required to offer terms no less favourable than the model contract. There is no explicit mention of what employment models should be utilised within a fully integrated ACO, however GMS and PMS contracts would be suspended so it is anticipated that all GPs (whether previously contractors or salaried) would be employed by the ACO.
The latest draft of the ACO contract states that the contract Directions will include a requirement that the contracts of all GPs employed within an ACO must meet the minimum terms and conditions set out by the BMA model contract for salaried GPs.
The model contract for salaried GPs represents good employment practice and it is advised that a salaried GP should never accept anything less than these minimum TCS. It is equally important that there is contractual parity among all doctors employed under a new model of care.
Minimum key provisions of the salaried GP model contract
Continuity of service
The BMA's legal view is that paragraph 1.7 of the model salaried GP contract means that for the purposes of calculating contractual maternity pay, periods of NHS employment include all periods of employment within the NHS, including previous service as a GP principal or provider, salaried GP or locum.
If you are a salaried GP employed under the new models of care you need to ensure that the start date of your continuous NHS employment covers all your previous NHS services (provided that there was no break).
The BMA’s handbook for salaried GPs provides further information about what constitutes continuous NHS service.
The job plan is the document that translates expectations of employee and employer into a working schedule. It ensures that the post delivers its aims and the requirements of the contract of employment are met.
A job plan should be developed collaboratively between the employer and the salaried GP as soon as possible (ideally before the salaried GP starts work). It should be reviewed annually or when there are any significant changes proposed to the work pattern by either party. Changes should only be made by mutual agreement.
The BMA's handbook for salaried GPs includes example job plans and diaries that can be used by employers and salaried GPs in any setting.
Continuing professional development
Full-time salaried GPs employed under the model contract are entitled to at least 4 hours per week on an annualised basis of protected time for professional development. This is adjusted on a pro rata basis for part time employees.
CPD time should be used according to the educational needs of the salaried GP, as specified by their NHS appraisal and PDP (personal development plan).
Sick, maternity or adoption leave and pay
The model contract offers enhanced protection and benefits regarding annual leave and maternity, sick or adoption leave and pay.
- Annual leave: the model salaried GP contract provides a full-time salaried GP with 30 working days leave per year, which includes the statutory provisions.
- Maternity leave and pay: a salaried GP employed under the model contract is entitled to 12 months of maternity leave and, provided they have 12 months of continuous NHS service, they are entitled to contractual maternity pay.
- Sick leave: the model salaried GP contract provides improved sick leave benefits, in line with hospital doctors.
Read further information on the model contract entitlements
Under the model contract a salaried GP's salary must be uplifted annually at least in line with the DDRB recommended increase.