Scottish GPs reject call for separate contract

GPs in Scotland have rejected a call for a separate contract, fearing they could be worse off financially if they break away from the UK-wide agreement.

Dr Sutherland: 'The Scottish GPC is now mature enough to let go of the big boy’s hand and go alone'
Dr Sutherland: 'The Scottish GPC is now mature enough to let go of the big boy’s hand and go alone'

The Scottish conference of LMCs voted to reject a motion calling on the Scottish GPC to work with the Scottish government to determine the feasibility of a new Scottish GP contract.

Lothian LMC member Dr Sandy Sutherland, who raised the motion, said the difference between general practice in Scotland and England is growing. ‘This has been the elephant in the room for too long,' he said. 'The Scottish GPC is now mature enough to let go of the big boy’s hand and go alone. Let’s start the process now. We owe it to Scottish GPs.’

But Dr Gerald Burnett, a member of Fife LMC, warned that a separate GP contract would make Scottish GPs an easy target for the Scottish government to drive down GP wages.

‘We earn significantly less than our English counterparts,' he said. 'To separate the contract that ties us to that will simply result in us falling further behind… I think there are major advantages to being tied to a national contract and I for one think we would do very badly financially to separate off.’

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