Mas­sive sup­port from pa­tients for ex­tra GP cash

Nine out of 10 re­spon­dents back doc­tors’ cam­paign to in­crease fund­ing

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - Hilary duncanson

An over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Scots want to see more cash pumped into gen­eral prac­tice, ac­cord­ing to a poll.

Nine out of 10 re­spon­dents backed the Royal Col­lege of Gen­eral Prac­ti­tion­ers’ cam­paign for an ex­tra £250 mil­lion for health cen­tres.

The RCGP in Scot­land, which com­mis­sioned the YouGov study, said the find­ings demon­strated mas­sive sup­port for the work of fam­ily doc­tors.

The body, which rep­re­sents around 5,000 fam­ily doc­tors in Scot­land, said al­most nine in 10 Scots, 88%, sup­port their cam­paign for more fund­ing for the GP ser­vice.

They want £500m a year for prac­tices and health cen­tres from 2021 so they re­ceive 11% of the NHS Scot­land bud­get. It says the Scot­tish Govern­ment is £250m short on pro­vid­ing that.

The poll found 79% of peo­ple think it is the GP that can be trusted most, com­pared to other pro­fes­sion­als in the wider gen­eral prac­tice team, to help meet their health­care needs.

Dr Miles Mack, chair­man of RCGP Scot­land, said: “GPs are uniquely placed to de­liver care oth­ers can­not of­fer and their rig­or­ous train­ing in de­liv­er­ing this ef­fec­tively means they are best placed within the health­care sys­tem as the first port of call for their pa­tients’ needs.

“This sur­vey sends a clear mes­sage that pa­tients want their GP to re­main cen­tral to their care as the NHS de­vel­ops.

“I’m sure this huge show of sup­port will pro­vide com­fort and sup­port to col­leagues.”

Health Sec­re­tary Shona Ro­bi­son said: “By the end of this Par­lia­ment we will have in­vested £250 mil­lion a year in di­rect sup­port of gen­eral prac­tice as part of the Scot­tish Govern­ment’s com­mit­ment to in­crease pri­mary care fund­ing by £500 mil­lion.

“We have in­creased fund­ing for GP re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion five­fold to £5 mil­lion this year, with work on a range of mea­sures to sup­port prac­tice sus­tain­abil­ity.

“We are also work­ing with the Bri­tish Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion to de­liver a new GP con­tract which will pro­vide a strength­ened and clar­i­fied role for Scot­land’s GPs.”

Scot­tish Labour’s health spokesman Anas Sar­war said: “It is a credit to our GPs that they con­tinue to do such vi­tal work de­spite hav­ing their bud­get per­sis­tently raided by SNP min­is­ters.”

Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive health spokesman Miles Briggs said: “It’s quite an achieve­ment that doc­tors have man­aged to main­tain this level of trust de­spite the dis­as­trous stew­ard­ship of gen­eral prac­tice by the SNP.”

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