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GPs go forth

Final voting push on proposed Scottish GP contract

GPs in Scotland have just one more day to vote on whether to accept the new Scottish contract.

The poll on the proposals, which include measures to reduce workload and protect partners from risk, will close on Thursday.

Scottish BMA GP Committee members will discuss the results at a meeting on the 18 January where they will decide whether or not to move ahead with the plans.

The ambitious contract, which would set Scottish GPs on a different path to the rest of the UK, would see direct reimbursement of practice and staff expenses, a move away from GPs owning premises and a focus on the GP as an expert medical generalist at the head of a multidisciplinary team.

It also includes the transfer of responsibility of some services, including vaccination to health boards without loss of funding.

BMA figures suggest almost two-thirds of practices would see overall funding increase under a new funding formula.

The proposals also include a minimum earnings expectation to ensure no GP partner earns less than £80,430.

But some GPs, especially those in rural areas, have been outspoken about their opposition to the contract.

The Rural GP Association of Scotland has said its members were concerned that rural issues were not being addressed.

And a heat map showing how additional funding would be allocated showed a clear urban rural divide, it said.

Fears have also been raised that the contract moves general practice towards being a salaried service.

Yet others have said the contract offers a real opportunity for general practice and at a special LMC meeting in Glasgow in December the majority of representatives agreed that the proposals addressed the key issues of sustainable funding, reduced risk, attractiveness of the profession and reduced workload.

An early Pulse poll suggested the results could be tight with respondents divided down the middle.

The BMA had run a series of roadshows throughout December to address questions and concerns over the plans.

Scottish GPC chair Dr Alan McDevitt said the proposed contract was a ‘significant step forward for the whole of general practice in Scotland’.

‘Like any major change, there has been a lot of healthy debate and discussion as we have engaged with GPs across the length and breadth of Scotland to explain what these proposals would mean for them.

‘As the poll comes to a close, I am looking forward to hearing the feedback of the profession and their view of whether the contract should be implemented.’




Readers' comments (9)

  • Cobblers

    Remember the phrase "United we stand, divided we fall".

    It seems that rural Scotland has fewer votes both from a GP viewpoint and nationally.

    It also is clear that the money is going urban.

    So Urban GPs in Scotland. You have a choice. Vote for this pathway to short term gain and longer term salaried with the concomitant binning of your fellow country based GPs?

    Or bite the bullet?

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  • Gobble gobble went the turkey as Christmas approached.

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  • @Cobblers
    An alternative viewpoint is that funding is to be moved to correct the increasing disparity suffered by practices struggling with the demographic demands of age. Rural practices are not going to lose out financially although it is clear further negotiation is to happen about how certain aspects of the new contract would be managed or reimbursed in rural areas.
    I would not vote for anything that would damage rural general practice, and so far nobody has made a clear case how this would happen.
    @Turn out the Lights
    Things so much better under Hunt??

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  • Things are a hellish version of cllectivizatin in England,we are just finding out the result of all the ne shines red drs,nurses and tractors being produced to increase the NHS productivity.

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  • Sore i pad ,Things are a hellish version of collectivisation in England,we are just finding out the result of all the they red Drs,nurses and tractor being produced in the productivity of the NHS.(predictive testing and thick fingers)

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  • Cobblers

    Angus, I withdraw the following "with the concomitant binning of your fellow country based GPs"

    What is clear is the pathway you follow. Salaried.

    What would also seem likely is that although rural GPs may have been promised further negotiation it is but that, a promise. Worth the paper it is written on to be used a chip paper tomorrow.

    And J Hunt? He is already preparing himself for a move. Out of health.

    COI only now involved as a punter.

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  • Cobblers, unless you live in the vacuum of the Moon, you will notice that General Practice is already racing towards a salaried service under the current contract.

    How many of the rather sparse cohorts of new GPs are taking up partnerships as opposed to salaried roles, portfolio jobs, "Fellowships", or just remaining locums?

    As the old guard fade into retirement/dementia will they want to take on partnership roles that we leave behind?

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  • Let’s debunk the idea that this flawed new allocation formula acknowledges the increased workload of an elderly population. My practice has way above average elderly patients ( 25% over 65 to Scottish average 17%), yet we have a significant cut in our core funding.
    This is not a new Scottish GP Contract, but a new Scottish Practice-owning Urban GP Contract

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  • Cobblers

    Jeez Flibberty!!

    It stands as clear as the nose on my face that the Scottish contract is heading to salaried status ultimately.

    However as for the rest of us salaried is but one option. Choose it if you will but you mention some of the many alternative options, Chambers, Locuming, Portfolio and other GP careers limited by my imagination and lack of coffee.

    Partnerships are what was. It would be nice to have that continue but it seems HMG is hell bent on making it unviable. The youngsters see the writing on the wall and are going for what gives them the right work/life balance.

    And why not? HMG can go hang.

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