Welsh government backs 1.5% GP pay offer but SNP warns of 'threat to NHS'

The Welsh government has offered GPs the same 1.5% contract uplift proposed by the UK government, but ministers in Scotland said the deal threatened the NHS and have opened talks with GPC Scotland over alternatives.

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil: GMS pay offer is threat to NHS
Scottish health secretary Alex Neil: GMS pay offer is threat to NHS

Welsh health minister Lesley Griffiths announced today that GPs in Wales had been offered a 1.5% GMS uplift in return for more work.

This comes after the Scottish government announced that it was entering into discussions with the Scottish GPC because of the breakdown of UK-wide negotiations between the BMA and DH.

Scottish health secretary Alex Neil said that the DH offer to the BMA represented a threat to the NHS and to GPs' ability to treat patients effectively.

Mr Neil said: ‘Given the impasse in the UK negotiations on the GP contract, we have invited the BMA for talks on arrangements in Scotland which would better suit both patients and GPs.

‘We agree with the BMA that the market driven model being put in place in England represents a real threat to the NHS and to GPs ability to treat patients effectively – but Scottish patients shouldn’t suffer because of this.

‘That’s why we want to take a different approach in Scotland and want to work closely with the BMA to agree a Scottish arrangement that takes account of workloads and meet the needs of Scottish patients.

‘Both the BMA and the Scottish government want the same thing – a well functioning health service that meets the needs of Scottish patients. We will be working to achieve that over the next month.’

Ms Griffith said: ‘While I appreciate the good work undertaken by GPs in Wales, there is a need to ensure services continually develop to drive forward our vision set out in Together for Health and to accelerate the pace of change within primary care. In these difficult financial times, I believe the uplift is fair and reasonable in return for changes to the contract, to ensure the provision of high quality care for patients.’

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