General practice in Scotland has bright future, says SGPC

GP morale may have fallen 'beyond rock bottom', but the future is bright for the profession, Scottish GPC (SGPC) chairman Dr Alan McDevitt has insisted.

Dr Alan McDevitt: Scotland's GPs have bright future (Photo: Douglas Robertson)
Dr Alan McDevitt: Scotland's GPs have bright future (Photo: Douglas Robertson)

Delegates at the 2015 Scottish LMCs conference in Clydebank, near Glasgow, last Friday voted unanimously that morale in general practice was ‘at rock bottom’ and warned that this was ‘exacerbating recruitment difficulties’.

A GP from Tayside LMC light-heartedly opposed the motion, saying: ‘Every year we say general practice is at rock bottom and we’ve always been wrong, so maybe we should take it as a reference?’

His comments were met with laughter from other delegates, and prompted Ayrshire and Arran LMC’s Dr Ajay Koshti, who proposed the motion, to respond: ‘GPs are the rare group of people who can dig below rock bottom.’

Scotland to ditch QOF from 2017

But Dr McDevitt told GP that the run of ever-worsening GP morale was set to change in Scotland soon, largely facilitated by the country’s split from the UK contract and move to a three-year rolling system.

Speaking to GP at the conference, he said he was ‘very pleased’ with the day’s events. He said: ‘I am obviously very pleased, we’ve moved from presenting a vision to the GPs of Scotland to many of them proposing them as motions, which takes it into our policy. It’s good to see GP colleagues are picking up on that.

‘And during such hard times, to have people being optimistic is very good, because although we’re facing some really difficult problems, at the same time we’re looking forward to a better, brighter future, and that gives us some comfort.’

The GP contract and negotiations were top of the agenda at the 2015 Scottish LMCs conference. Delegates at the conference congratulated the SGPC for negotiating a three-year deal and voted in favour of maintaining independent contractor statu, defining what work is not contractual and scrapping the QOF.

Calls to implement 15-minute appointments into the next contract were lost.

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