Separate GMS contract for Scotland rejected by BMA

BMA leaders have rejected calls from a think tank for a separate GMS contract for Scotland.

Dr Alan McDevitt: GMS contract already has room for variation
Dr Alan McDevitt: GMS contract already has room for variation

GPC Scotland chairman Dr Alan McDevitt accepted it was appropriate to talk about greater contract flexibilities for Scotland but rebuffed calls for a totally separate deal.

His comments came after ‘non-party’ think tank Reform Scotland called for a separate GMS contract for the country.

Reform Scotland director Geoff Mawdsley said: ‘It makes little sense for health to be devolved to Holyrood, but the GMS contract negotiated on a UK basis when health policy in the different parts of the UK is diverging.’

Already the Scottish government has said that it will look at how to ‘tartanise’ the contract after Scotland's LMCs backed the move at their conference in March, a process Dr McDevitt told GP last month he was sceptical about.

Reacting to the Reform Scotland report, he said: ‘The BMA believes that the framework of the UK contract is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the Scottish differences.

‘There is already significant variation within the UK contract. The global sum has always been divided among Scottish practices via a Scottish allocation formula, which was negotiated separately to reflect Scotland’s unique geographical and population differences.

‘Most enhanced services are negotiated and agreed separately in Scotland and reflect Scottish priorities and there is no point reinventing the evidence base for clinical indicators in the quality framework which are the same for every GP and patient wherever they live and work in the UK.’

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