Partners to spend day a week with patients

NHS to block private providers and set minimum time partners must spend with patients.

GPs in Scotland could be barred from becoming partners unless they spend a minimum amount of time with patients each week.

The move would make it harder for private firms and even GP-led companies to expand north of the border.

The Scottish Executive is consulting on plans to disqualify all but traditional GP practices from offering primary care in Scotland. The long-anticipated move is intended primarily to bar commercial health companies.

In the foreword to the consultation, Scottish health minister Nicola Sturgeon explained that the Executive's 'vision of a mutual model means practices that are owned by people with a direct interest in the patients they treat'.

But the plan would also prevent GPs or other health professionals from holding contracts unless they spend a 'minimum amount of time ... in the clinical care management of patients and day-to-day running of the practice'. The consultation document suggests one day a week as a reasonable figure.

There are likely to be exceptions for GPs who have retired, are on maternity leave or have taken a career break.

A spokesman for the Scottish government said that successful practices could still bid to take over vacant neighbours, 'as long as the principal GPs ensure they devote enough time to dealing with all those on the enlarged patient list'.

The plan to block commercial provision, which involves amending the 1978 NHS (Scotland) Act, would also bar voluntary providers from providing NHS primary care.

A spokeswoman for BMA Scotland welcomed the moves to bar private provision. But she said a 'number of aspects of the proposal had not been discussed with GPC Scotland'.

'We need to carefully consider their implications,' she added.

Dr James Kingsland, president of the National Association of Primary Care, said that the plan could be off-putting to entrepreneurial GPs, and could make it harder to increase capacity.

'If the quality of services in Scotland is such that it does not need that capacity, then we need to know how it has done it,' he said.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

160,000 patient records 'wrongly archived' in latest Capita blunder

160,000 patient records 'wrongly archived' in latest Capita blunder

Patient records for 160,000 people were archived by mistake rather than being sent...

Consultation skills: Frequent attenders

Consultation skills: Frequent attenders

Dr Pipin Singh offers advice on how to approach consultations with patients who frequently...

Pension taxes force one in three GPs to cut back work or refuse shifts

Pension taxes force one in three GPs to cut back work or refuse shifts

One in three GPs have reduced work or refused shifts to avoid pension taxes that...

Half of GP partners say primary care networks will increase workload

Half of GP partners say primary care networks will increase workload

Half of GP partners think primary care networks (PCNs) will increase workload for...

GPC sessional chair among GPs taking lead roles in primary care networks

GPC sessional chair among GPs taking lead roles in primary care networks

GPC sessional subcommittee chair Dr Zoe Norris is among GPs set to become clinical...

Most locum and salaried GPs ignored as primary care networks form, poll reveals

Most locum and salaried GPs ignored as primary care networks form, poll reveals

Just one in 20 locum GPs are involved in setting up primary care networks (PCNs)...