Scots bid to allow nurses to hold GMS contracts

Nurses and commercial organisations in Scotland are set to be allowed to hold GMS contracts, following Scottish parliament recommendations that primary care legislation be revised.

Dean Marshall
Dean Marshall

The Scottish parliament's health committee has asked the Scottish government to remove restrictions which prevent non-GPs holding GMS contracts. The committee backed an argument by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) that restrictions on who can hold GMS contracts limit opportunities to provide primary medical services.

Dr Dean Marshall, GPC Scotland chairman, warned: 'Any attempts to dilute this legislation could potentially have an impact on the future of NHS general practice as we know it and politicians from all parties should think carefully before taking us down this route.'

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the idea of non-GPs holding GMS contracts was 'bizarre'. 'Whoever has proposed this doesn't understand contracts or contract law,' he said. 'Nurses do not have the qualifications to be GPs. If they want to be GPs, they can retrain.'

RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said: 'Nurses are already allowed to deliver primary medical services through different contractual arrangements, so there is no good reason to prevent them holding GMS contracts.'

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