Discussions on how to change Scotland’s next contract, which will not come into play until April 2017, are set to feature heavily on the agenda, with GPs expected to urge ‘the Scottish government to take this opportunity to create a contract which lets us practice medicine to our fullest potential’.
Motions up for debate will suggest that Scotland’s new contract should move towards 15-minute appointments and that it should clarify what work is not contractually funded, to help reduce un-resourced work.
The LMC representatives at the conference, which takes place on Friday 13 March, will also vote for GPs’ independent contractor status to be protected in the new contract, arguing this is ‘fundamental to efficient and innovative quality care’.
Grampian LMC will ask delegates whether the QOF should be ‘separated from practice funding’, which would represent a marked change from the rest of the UK.
In another motion, Borders LMC will call for the Scottish GPC to ensure that funding continues to be transferred from the QOF to core funding.
Overhauls to tackle Scotland’s burgeoning workforce crisis will also be scrutinised by the delegates. The conference will vote on whether to demand that the Scottish government ‘urgently funds a campaign to recruit more doctors to a career in general practice’.
GP workload warning
Another motion will decide whether the SGPC should ‘urgently seek solutions to safeguard general practice’ and work to ‘limit the transfer of workload to GP practices’.
Chairman of the SPGC, Dr Alan McDevitt, told GP that this year’s conference was set to host some big decisions, as it marked delegates’ last big chance to vote on serious change ahead of decisions for the next contract being finalised in summer 2016.
‘Many of the motions up for the vote are very relevant to the future and the vision,’ he said. ‘So I'm looking forward to this being one of our best ever conferences because we will genuinely be able to talk about what the future should be.’
He promised that Scotland ‘will have a substantially different way of contracting GP services’ when the new contract comes into effect.