New Scottish GP contract cuts premises risk and guarantees £80,000 earnings

GPs in Scotland have been offered a new contract deal guaranteeing partners minimum earnings of £80,430 and offering interest free premises loans in a bid to return the profession to a sustainable footing.

Scottish GPC chair Dr Alan McDevitt
Scottish GPC chair Dr Alan McDevitt

GPs will be invited to respond to a consultation on the new deal between 7 December 2017 and 4 January 2018, with the Scottish GPC to decide on 18 January whether to accept the deal. A special LMCs conference for Scotland will meet on 1 December to debate the new contract and BMA roadshows will be held to inform practices.

The deal aims to 'reduce workload pressures and re-establish general practice as an attractive career choice', by extending the use of multidisciplinary teams, offering GPs a basic guaranteed income, and radically reducing practices' responsibility for premises.

A new funding formula will be introduced under the deal, which aims to reflect practice workload more accurately by weighting more for older patients and deprivation. A £23m fund has been agreed to deliver extra funding to practices that earn more under the new deal, while protecting other practices.

Every practice in Scotland will receive a letter this month setting out how the contract would affect them individually.

Read more
 How the GP role will change under the new contract
> How the new contract takes away the burden of premises
> Read the proposed Scottish contract deal in full

Scottish GP chair Dr Alan McDevitt said: 'Our aim in these negotiations has been to make general practice sustainable for the future.  It was clear that significant change was required to address the increasing workload pressures that colleagues were facing.

'Practices have been struggling to recruit to vacant positions and we have started to see this impact on patient care, with some practices closing their patient lists, handing back responsibility to the health board or in extreme cases having to close altogether.

'This contract offers solutions to the pressures faced by general practice.  By expanding the primary care team and working with integration authorities to improve patient access to services delivered by other professionals, such as, practice nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists, GPs can have more time to concentrate on being GPs.

'The additional funding attached to this contract is a significant investment and demonstrates the value placed on the role of general practice in the NHS in Scotland.  The new contract offers income stability and reduced business risk to individuals.

'I hope that GPs across Scotland agree that this contract will make general practice fit for the future.  We will be holding a poll of all GPs in Scotland from 7 December and I would encourage every GP in Scotland to take part and have their say.'

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