Scotland's £40m general practice funding pledge 'not enough'

GP leaders have backed a Scottish government pledge to invest £40m in general practice to tackle health inequalities in deprived and rural areas, but warned more funding will be needed.

Dr Alan McDevitt: warning over primary care development fund (Photo: Douglas Robertson)
Dr Alan McDevitt: warning over primary care development fund (Photo: Douglas Robertson)

The announcement follows warnings from GP leaders that general practice in Scotland faces a 2.2% real-terms funding cut in 2015/16.

The £40m ‘primary care development fund’ will be used at a local and national level to provide services that can ‘better support the changing demographics of the Scottish population’, according to Scottish health secretary Alex Neil.

The funding will be directed to primary care services facing particular pressures, such as those with rural or island communities and above average numbers of elderly patients.

Mr Neil added that the funding boost elevated Scotland’s investment into GP services to ‘record levels’, despite ‘substantial Westminster cuts to Scotland’s budget’.

He said: ‘GPs and primary care professionals will be vital to ensuring that health and social care are effectively integrated from April next year, and this new investment will help them design and implement primary care services that best meet the needs of their communities.

Scottish GPs empowered

‘GPs will be empowered to develop initiatives that address challenges in workload, tackle health inequalities in deprived and rural areas, and meet the changing needs of the people of Scotland.’

Dr Alan McDevitt, chairman of the Scottish GPC, welcomed the increase in funding, but warned that further, ‘significant’ funding would be required to continue to support GP services in the future.

He said: ‘Over the past decade, investment in general practice has stagnated and the GP workforce is facing increasing pressure to meet this rising demand without any significant investment in the capacity or resources for general practice.  It is therefore welcome that the Scottish government now recognises there is a problem and has plans for a development fund for GP and primary care services.

‘The BMA is more than willing to work with the Scottish government to explore how best we transform Scottish general practice to meet the demands of the future, but it will require significant investment beyond that announced today.’

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

Second-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout maintains prioritisation by age

Second-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout maintains prioritisation by age

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published advice on...

PCNs paid £70m for first-wave COVID-19 jab campaign as NHS plots next phase of rollout

PCNs paid £70m for first-wave COVID-19 jab campaign as NHS plots next phase of rollout

Primary care network (PCN) COVID-19 vaccination sites have been paid £70m this month...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP Dr Farzana Hussain is personally telephoning scores of patients who have...

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Almost half of people who experienced potential cancer symptoms in the first wave...

GP premises need major investment to let PCNs recruit, warns BMA

GP premises need major investment to let PCNs recruit, warns BMA

Primary care networks (PCNs) are struggling to make use of hundreds of millions of...