GP Rich List


In the United Kingdom, general practices are small businesses which the National Health Service (NHS) contracts to provide general medical services and assist with primary care. While GPs are privately run businesses, they are taxpayer funded and, therefore, taxpayers will want to understand how public funds are allocated and, when necessary, hold GP services to account.

GP surgeries receive funding from the NHS on several bases,[1] including the number and profile of patients on their patient list as well as the quality of their output.[2] Funds are allocated to practices based on their anticipated workload, this is known as the global sum formula. This incorporates factors including the age of patients, the number of patients and the needs of the patients on their patient lists. On top of the global sum, surgeries can receive additional funding for enhanced services that they provide. Some examples of the type of services for which GPs receive additional funding include services for violent patients, performing minor surgery or the number of patients with learning disabilities.

Moreover, GP practices will receive extra funding for good practice. This comes through the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) which is a voluntary annual reward and incentive scheme for GPs. The aim of the QOF, according to NHS Digital, is to “reward practices” for the quality of care provided to patients.[3] The funding is allocated based on indicators set out in the QOF. The extent to which a practice meets those indicators will determine the funding received.

With the funding received from their various income streams, GP bosses can decide where the money they receive is allocated. This includes spending on staff, other practice costs and their own pay. Money can also be reinvested in the practice to achieve better outcomes in the future. This is afforded to GP practices as they are private businesses contracted by the NHS for primary care which is unlike other parts of the NHS which are under central control.

This note reviews the total pensionable pay for GPs in England and Wales between 2019 and 2023, with a particular focus on those receiving more than £100,000 in each year.




Key findings

  • In 2019, 9,263 GPs received over £100,000. This included two GPs who received total pensionable pay between £650,000 and £700,000. For the five Welsh employing authorities,[4] ten GPs received over £100,000.
  • There were 8,639 GPs in England who received over £100,000 in 2020 and two in Wales. The highest paid GPs in 2020 received total pensionable pay between £600,000 and £650,000.
  • For 2021, 9,771 GPs in England and four in Wales received over £100,000.
  • The data reported at least one GP in England during 2021 received over £1,000,000 and at least one other GP received total pensionable pay between £800,000 and £850,000.
  • In 2022, 8,593 GPs in England received over £100,000. In Wales, four received more than £100,000. At least two GPs received total pensionable pay between £800,000 and £850,000, and £850,000 and £900,000 respectively.
  • In 2023, 828 GPs in England and six in Wales received over £100,000.
  • The provided data had significant gaps as annual contribution data is only available when an annual update has been processed onto the member record for the respective employment. There are 5,266 updates still missing from 2019. 7,221, 9,722 and 13,960 are missing from 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively. Over 28,000 are missing from the 2023 data.




[1] NHS England, Primary Care Commissioning,, (accessed 09/01/2024).

[2] NHS England, Primary care commissioning,, (accessed 26 October 2023).

[3] NHS Digital, Quality and Outcomes Framework, 2021-22, September 2022.

[4] This does not include all GPs in Wales, other Welsh GPs are included in the English total as provided by the NHSBSA. See methodology for more detail.  

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.  More info. Okay