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  • Ratio of GPs to population falls by a tenth since 2009

    Ratio of GPs to population falls by a tenth since 2009

    Friday, 13 July 2018 13:02
  • Dementia risk advice introduced into NHS Health Check

    Dementia risk advice introduced into NHS Health Check

    Tuesday, 19 June 2018 10:15
  • Wales announces £100m to shake up NHS and social care services

    Wales announces £100m to shake up NHS and social care services

    Thursday, 14 June 2018 14:24
  • Welsh pharmacies to supply flu vaccine for care home workers

    Welsh pharmacies to supply flu vaccine for care home workers

    Monday, 11 June 2018 14:07
  • Flu vaccination by GPs sees increase for 2017-18 season

    Flu vaccination by GPs sees increase for 2017-18 season

    Wednesday, 30 May 2018 11:07

a scottish flag image cbNovember 16 2017

Scotland’s new General Medical Services contract could “reduce workload pressures and re-establish general practice as an attractive career choice,” the BMA has said.

The GMS contract for 2018 “provides for an expanded multi-disciplinary team to work with GP practices to provide direct access to services for patients, allowing GPs to concentrate on being expert medical generalists.”

Key elements cited by the BMA include:

  • a change to the funding formula and additional resources, starting in April 2018, so that practices with higher workloads are given more support but the income of every practice is protected;
  • funding to significantly reduce the risks to GP partners from providing their own premises making it easier to attract new partners;
  • the groundwork for guaranteed GP income and direct reimbursement of expenses in the future.

The Scottish Government’s contract document says there is “a new minimum earnings expectation to ensure no GP partner earns less than £80,430 (including pension contributions) NHS income for a whole-time equivalent post from April 2019.” This is expected to benefit a fifth of GP partners in Scotland.

There will also be an additional £23 million investment in GMS to improve services for patients where workload is highest. A new National Code of Practice for GP premises sets out how the Scottish Government will achieve a significant transfer away from GPs of the risk of providing premises. And by 2023, interest-free secured loans (‘GP Sustainability Loans’) will be available to every GP contractor who owns their own premises.

The Scottish Government has flagged up the involvement of the wider healthcare team, saying: “The proposals will ensure that all patients get the support they need from an extended community healthcare team – led by GPs and including nurses, physiotherapists, community mental health workers, paramedics, and pharmacists – to ensure more patients get the best and most appropriate care. This means GPs are able to best use their skills as expert medical generalists to spend more time with the people who need them most.

“By the end of the planned transition period, for example, GP pharmacists will deal with acute and repeat prescribing and autonomously provide pharmaceutical care through medication and polypharmacy reviews – all tasks currently requiring GP time.”

A poll will run between December 7 2017 and January 4 2018 for GPs to express whether to accept the new contract, which will come into effect on April 1 2018. “All GPs and GP trainees in Scotland will be entitled to take part. The outcome of the poll will be discussed at the meeting of the BMA’s Scottish GP Committee on 18 January 2018, where a decision will be taken on whether to accept the new contract,” said the BMA. A roadshow is also planned over the next few weeks.

Dr Alan McDevitt, Chair of the BMA’s Scottish GP committee said: “Our aim in these negotiations has been to make general practice sustainable for the future. It was clear that significant change was required to address the increasing workload pressures that colleagues were facing. 

“This contract offers solutions to the pressures faced by general practice. By expanding the primary care team and working with integration authorities to improve patient access to services delivered by other professionals, such as, practice nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists, GPs can have more time to concentrate on being GPs.

“The additional funding attached to this contract is a significant investment and demonstrates the value placed on the role of general practice in the NHS in Scotland. The new contract offers income stability and reduced business risk to individuals.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “We’ve worked closely in partnership with the British Medical Association on shaping the future of general practice and primary care and we are confident that this contract best supports Scotland’s healthcare needs while also making general practice an even more attractive career prospect for doctors.”

Links:
Scottish Government announcement      
Scottish Government ‘The 2018 GMS Contract in Scotland’        
BMA statement

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