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At the heart of general practice since 1960

12. Dr Alan McDevitt

Agent of change

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The chair of Scottish GPC has been busy this year developing a radical new model for the GP contract that he hopes will put an end to the spiralling burden of workload on the profession.

The Clydebank GP’s vision of a contract that is ‘as close to salaried as possible’ will see Scotland travel in a completely new direction from the rest of the UK, but Dr Alan McDevitt was nominated by colleagues for his ‘dedicated, wise approach’ and for ‘leading Scottish GPs to ensure survival over the next few years’.

After negotiating a break away from the UK-wide GP contract last year with a ‘stability deal’ that would not change until 2017, Dr McDevitt has cleverly bought himself valuable time to outline what an alternative ‘tartanised’ GP contract would look like.

And this new model will see the end of QOF and GPs handing over the running of their practices and their staff to health boards. GPs will only be contracted to provide independent generalist medical advice and there may be limits set on their workload

The plans already have the seal of approval from Scottish health minister Shona Robison, and have many a sympathetic ear in Scotland, as well as over the border in England.

Dr McDevitt says: ‘I have, with my negotiating team, travelled all around Scotland to speak to LMCs about a vision for the future of general practice in Scotland. For the first time ever, we travelled with the government negotiator team so they could hear from GPs and we attended their meetings with each of the health boards in Scotland.’

Other victories this year include winning a new £50m fund over three years to help find new members of staff for practices to ease workload and to ensure that sessional doctors in Scotland receive payment for the time spent on their appraisal.

But the hard work does not stop there, Dr McDevitt has already started formal negotiations over the new Scottish GMS contract with the aim to conclude in 12 months. And you cannot help but wish him luck.

As in national politics, the Scots are now showing the rest of the UK a different way of working.’ And many outside of its borders will be watching closely at how it gets on.

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