The British Medical Association (BMA)’s national clinician adviser on pay and pensions has warned Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak that the Government only has a month to solve the NHS pensions crisis.
A week later, The Times reported that ministers had begun to prepare changes, although no detail for GP pensions was available at the time of writing.
In an open email to the leadership candidates, Dr Goldstone wrote: “My personal belief is that if this new problem (CPI disconnect and negative growth) is not fixed/announced within the next month this could make any lowering of the waiting list an impossible task.
“People are leaving or planning to leave the NHS as a direct consequence of this particular issue in unprecedented numbers, and unlike the now largely historic issues with the tapered annual allowance, which were mostly eradicated in the March 2020 budget, this loss of clinical activity will be largely irreversible.”
Dr Goldstone added that he was writing in a personal capacity on the issue, not a professional one.
GP locums face a triple threat of pensions stress from 1 October:
- The return of Locum Form B.
- The introduction of annualisation changes.
- The end of the energy price cap.
GPs and practices also face increasing pressure from the cost of living crisis as inflation rises.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse said: “The clock is clearly ticking for the new prime minister to make sure the NHS is brought back from this point of no return. The NHS’s greatest asset is its workforce, and this direct action, so clearly outlined by Dr Goldstone, needs to be implemented before it’s too late.”