New contract for Scots GPs set to cut workload
A NEW contract for Scotland’s GPs will reduce their workload at the same time as bringing in a minimum earning expectation of just over £80,000.
The Scottish Government will also provide an extra £30 million over the next three years to help GPs reduce the risks associated with owning or leasing their own premises.
The new GP contract promises a “refocusing” of the role of family doctors as “expert medical generalists”.
As part of this change, some duties currently performed by GPs will be carried out by other healthcare professionals in the wider primary care team – such as vaccinations and community mental health services – while pharmacists will deal more with repeat prescriptions and drug reviews for patients.
A change in the way the service is designed will allow doctors to present more time with patients where this is needed, particularly benefiting those with several complicated medical conditions.
Doctors’ leaders at the British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland have been involved in drafting the new contract – which they say could make general practice “fit for the future”.
Dr Alan McDevitt, chair of the BMA’s Scottish GP committee, said: “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 signifi- cant 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.”
A new funding formula will be introduced for GP practices that “better reflects practice workload” under the new contract while a minimum earnings expectation is planned to to ensure no GP partner earns less than £80,430 (including pension contributions) by April 2019.
That could mean that one in five GP partners are better off, according to the Scottish Government.
GPs will now vote on whether to agree the new contract, with a ballot taking place between December 7 and January 4, next year.
The result of this will be discussed at the BMA’s Scottish GP committee on January 18 2018, where a decision will be taken on whether to accept the deal.
Health Secretary Shona Robison chats to Jane McNiven with her granddaughter Evie and nurse Eileen McGinness during a visit to The Green medical practice in Clydebank for the launch of the proposed GP contract