Scottish GP leader demands funding commitment for 2018 contract overhaul

Scottish GPC chair Dr Alan McDevitt has called on Scotland's government to 'put words into action' and commit to higher GP funding ahead of plans to launch a far-reaching new contract next year.

GPC Scotland chair Dr Alan McDevitt
GPC Scotland chair Dr Alan McDevitt

Dr McDevitt was expected to tell the 2017 Scottish LMCs conference on Friday that an agreement was ‘in sight’ on how much additional funding will be available to directly support general practice, and urged Scottish health secretary Shona Robison to give this the green light.

GPs are close to the funding deal ahead of plans to launch Scotland's first breakaway contract in April 2018, which aims to push general practice towards new models of working within a more multidisciplinary team approach.

Dr McDevitt is expected to say that these plans - already delayed from an April 2017 launch - could not go ahead 'without dependable new resources to make the change'.

The GPC leader will tell Scottish LMCs at the conference in Clydebank: ‘Working in partnership to achieve shared goals has been an approach that I have strongly favoured during my time as chair of the Scottish GPC and I am delighted that the Scottish government has adopted our vision for the future of general practice and has a shared commitment to realising that vision.

GP workload

‘Despite our work so far, we are still dealing with the same pressures - rising workloads, recruitment and retention problems, a workforce pushed to the limits.

‘I share your frustration at the pace of progress that we have made to date. But, as I said last year, we cannot go into a new contract without dependable new resources to make the change.

‘And so this year, my message to the Scottish government is that it is time to put words into action. We have to take bold action now to make our vision a reality.

‘We can’t keep waiting, we can’t keep highlighting the seriousness of the pressures facing practices, and we can’t keep watching as colleagues hand back responsibility for their practice because they are unable to maintain the standard of care they want to provide.

‘We must travel further and faster towards reinvigorating general practice.’

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