LMCs question future of independent status

Scottish LMCs Conference - Moving to a salaried service, Darzi resignation call and an end to the UK contract.

GPs considered the option of a salaried-only service as being the only sustainable way forward for the profession at the Scottish LMCs conference.

It came as part of a motion from Dr Jim McMillan, of Tayside LMC, which urged GPC to investigate alternative contractual relationships with the NHS and patients.

Dr McMillan said that, although the current model was one of the best in the world, it was unsustainable because of government meddling.

'Services are becoming wants-based. We need something to shake the foundation of this,' he told the meeting in Clydebank last week.

Dr Lucy Munro, of Forth Valley LMC, spoke in favour of exploring a salaried service.

'If you had a properly resourced salaried service then we could stop 30 funding streams coming into the practice,' said Dr Munro.

She argued that the traditional model of general practice might be outdated.

Dr Andrew Cowie of Tayside LMC said being salaried would prevent some of the current problems in general practice.

'They see us as an infinitely expansive service and, if you are salaried, then they would have to stop seeing us like that.'

But Dr Bob Rosbottom, also from Tayside LMC said it would mean more management involvement.

Dr Alan McDevitt, of Greater Glasgow and Clyde LMC, said that, when he was younger, he thought being salaried was a good idea. But, after 19 years in the same practice, he has changed his mind.

'I realise that I am in my community. It goes beyond what I get paid to do for it.

'The independent contractor brings a strong sense of belonging for people,' he said.

The motion urging the GPC to investigate alternative contractual relationships with the NHS was narrowly lost as a reference. The suggestion that a salaried service was the way forward was rejected.

GPletters@haymarket.com

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