Scotland to focus premises cash on dentists, not GPs

GPC Scotland has criticised the lack of money earmarked for general practice in funding for NHS buildings.

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has announced funding of more than £557 million for 2010/11 for buildings and upgrading equipment.

Although nearly £50 million is for primary care, most will go to dental services. A Scottish government spokeswoman said 13 new stand-alone dental centres would be built, along with a replacement health centre at Possilpark, Glasgow.

GPC Scotland deputy chairman Dr Alan McDevitt described the lack of funds for general practice as 'a concern'.

'It has been that way for a few years. GP premises are not being prioritised. If we are ever going to get care closer to patients' homes then we need better and bigger premises,' he said.

The BMA Scotland document General Practice in Scotland: The Way Ahead called for a return to ring fenced funding for practice premises.

Dr McDevitt said many practices had been set up to have a doctor's room, a waiting room with reception and a place for notes. But modern practices needed space for practice nurses, healthcare assistants and GP trainees, he said.

Dr McDevitt added that unless more funds were made available for practices, premises would continue to deteriorate.

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