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Record number of GP practices hand back contracts

More GP practices in Scotland handed back their contracts to the health board in 2016 than any other year on record, figures from the RCGP show.

Last year there were 52 practices run by health boards, after increasing numbers of GPs were forced to hand back contracts because they were unable to continue providing services, the RCGP said.

It means the number of patients registered with a practice run by a health board, so-called '2C' practices, almost doubled in the past decade from 83,290 to 160,322.

RCGP Scotland chair Dr Miles Mack said GPs right across Scotland were being forced to close their doors or hand contracts back.

The figures raise concerns over the impact on patient care and on ‘lost value for money’ in healthcare provision, he added.

‘In particular, it means that GPs are no longer in a leadership role and there is less continuity of care for patients,’ said Dr Mack.

The RCGP has called for 11% of NHS Scotland’s budget to go directly to funding general practice.

In 2005/06, 9.8% of the Scottish Health budget was spent on GP care, falling to 7.2% by 2015/16.

Last year the Scottish Government announced £500m to be spent in primary care by 2020 to bring the share to 11% of the NHS budget.

It has been confirmed that £250m of that will be in direct support of general practice.

In this financial year £71m has been promised for general practice.

The RCGP has called for clarity over exactly where extra investment will be spent.

Details of funding are expected later this year after negotiations on the new GP contract for Scotland are finalised.

Dr Mack added that the evidence from the Scottish Government’s own Govan SHIP project has shown how much patients can benefit from better resourcing of general practice.

‘Funding for wider primary care, already at 23% of NHS Scotland’s budget, also could be increased,’ he said. 

Readers' comments (7)

  • National Hopeless Service

    All going to the conservative plan of an entirely salaried dont give a sh#t and total sh#t service.

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  • 23% of the Scottish NHS budget going to primary care??? ---- surely this MSP is deluded! He presumably means Health And Social Care and that also sounds unbelievable.The actual GP service gets a fraction of this and it has been reduced over the last 10 yrs or so.He presumably believes the consistent current government sound bites of "we keep pumping money into the NHS in Scotland and there are more doctors and more nurses than ever and everything in the garden is coming up roses,so don't believe any of the current statements coming from doctors and nurses that we are currently slowly sinking."The MSP in question should go see for himself and ask some people that are actually in the firing line to see what is actually happening and why patients are having difficulties being seen----- anywhere in the NHS not just General Practice.

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  • Scottish Parliamentary debate on GP Recriutment, held today:

    The Minister for Health was absent and so it was the Minister for Mental Health who presented the Scottish Government view.

    What was so telling was that the Minister was all on her own. Not one MSP beside her or in any of the seats behind her, for row after row.

    A picture can sometimes say far more than any words!

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  • I thought we had an SNP government & that health was devolved? All parties are playing the same game.

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  • @Rod Shaw
    We do and it is!
    Obviously SNP not brave enough to use tax raising powers they have to sort growing problems in health and education. They still prefer the 'big boy did it and ran awa' option in constantly blaming the equally useless sods down south.
    They'd have my vote in a minute if they had the balls to tackle the issue head on and demonstrate that we might have to competence to go it alone ourselves. No evidence forth coming so far and they've had 10 years now....

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  • `Here in Salford we are also receiving investment in Primary Care -- When are people going to learn that PRIMARY CARE IS NOT GENERAL PRACTICE !? It will all be spent on non-doctors requesting more frequent GP home visits and emergency appointments because the " Primary Care " staff employed by this extra money will not have the clinical and risk management skills needed to perform a useful role.

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