General practice pay transparency

Purposes for processing

Pay transparency in general practice was introduced into the GP Contract Regulations in October 2021. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) subsequently confirmed that the implementation of general practice pay transparency was to be delayed.  The data collection has now been resumed beginning with 2021/22 NHS earnings.

On 1 October 2022, amendments to the NHS (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations 2015 (the ‘GMS Regulations’) and the NHS (Personal Medical Services Agreements) Regulations 2015 (the ‘PMS Regulations’) came into effect to require certain other individuals, namely ‘job holders’, to self-declare their NHS earnings if these are above the earnings threshold for the relevant financial year. These changes are also reflected in an amendment to The Alternative Provider Medical Services (APMS) Directions 2022. GMS, PMS and APMS contracts have been varied to incorporate these amendments.

Categories of personal data

Individuals who are in scope are required to confirm their name and job title and to declare the following information:

  • their NHS earnings for the relevant year
  • the organisation(s) from which the NHS earnings were drawn.

Further information, including on the definition of NHS earnings for the purpose general practice pay transparency, is included in the general practice pay transparency guidance.

Sources of the data

The following individuals will be required to make a self-declaration on an annual basis if their NHS earnings exceed the threshold for the relevant year:

  • individuals who hold the GP contract as partners (including partners who are not GPs) and contractors who are individual medical practitioners
  • partners of clinical sub-contractors and sub-contractors who are an individual (including partners of any onward clinical sub-contractors and any onward clinical sub-contractor who is an individual)
  • individuals who work for (are engaged by) either a contractor (regardless of whether the contractor is an individual medical practitioner, a partnership or a limited company) or clinical sub-contractor (including any onward clinical sub-contractors) under either:
    • a contract of employment
    • a contract for services
    • or as a company officer (directors and any company secretary)
  • Individuals engaged by a third party to provide clinical services (for example a locum engaged via an employment agency).

The thresholds of NHS earnings for the financial years 2021-22 to 2023-24 above which a self-declaration must be made are set out below:

  • 2021-22 – £156,000
  • 2022-23 – £159,000
  • 2023-24 – £163,000.

Categories of recipients

The information self-declared is intended for publication in a national publication to include for each individual and the relevant year:

  • name
  • job title
  • their NHS earnings in £5,000 earnings bands
  • the names of the organisations from which they drew NHS earnings from in the relevant year.

Legal basis for processing

The Secretary of State for Health has provided NHS England with direction to carry out this activity.

For GDPR purposes NHS England’s lawful basis for processing is Article 6(1)(e) – ‘…exercise of official authority…’. For the processing of special categories data the basis is Article 9(2)(h) – ‘…health or social care…’.