Scottish LMCs demand GP workload cap, 15-minute appointments and income protection

Safe maximum workload limits for GPs, 15-minute appointments and protection of practice income should be written into a new GMS contract being drawn up for Scotland, LMCs will warn next week.

GPC Scotland chair Dr Alan McDevitt (Photo: Douglas Robertson)
GPC Scotland chair Dr Alan McDevitt (Photo: Douglas Robertson)

GP leaders will call for measures to protect practices from soaring workload and any potential adverse effect of switching to a new contract deal at the 2017 Scottish LMCs conference in Clydebank, near Glasgow, on 10 March.

The new GP contract should 'set safe, maximum working limits on GPs and provide robust local arrangements for management of overflow when this limit is reached', a motion tabled by Borders LMC argues.

Borders LMC will also propose a motion calling for the contract to stipulate 15-minute GP appointments as a 'minimum requirement'.

NHS funding

Motions put forward for debate by LMCs also highlight GP concerns about overall funding available for the NHS in Scotland, calling for the Scottish government to be 'more honest and open' with the general public about the 'limited resources available' for the health service.

Dumfries and Galloway GPs will argue that the NHS is 'in its current state unfortunately in terminal and inevitable decline', and call for 'a politician with the courage to admit this, and the vision to sit down with a clean piece of paper from which a new health service, fit for the 21st century will emerge'.

GPs at the conference will welcome plans for rising investment in general practice that will take the profession's share of Scotland's NHS budget to 11% by 2021.

But they will warn that GP workload is 'at a critical level' and that 'due to the current workforce crisis and the rising workloads in general practice that each and every GP practice is vulnerable'.

GP workload

One motion will call for the government to consider employing a team of GPs to go in to struggling practices to help turn them around.

GPs at the conference are also set to debate cuts to bureaucracy around revalidation, support for rural practices and out-of-hours services, NHS reform and GP collaborative working among other issues.

The Scottish conference will come in the week following LMC events in Wales and Northern Ireland.

GPs in Northern Ireland are set to debate plans for mass resignation, and an alternative plan to switch to a salaried service, while Welsh LMCs are hoping to hear details of a contract funding uplift.

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