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Independents' Day

Scottish LMC leaders to vote on 15-minute appointments to be included in the contract

GP leaders in Scotland will vote on 15 minute GP appointments and new powers to let practice manage their workload and list size being included in negotiations for the new GMS contract.

A motion to be voted on at the 2015 Scottish LMCs conference this Friday has called for more contractual powers for GPs to control their workload, in particular for non-contractual work to be defined so that GPs can cut unresourced work.

Last year Scottish GPs stepped away from the annually negotiated UK contract, and moved to a three-year contract period that will not change until 2017.

The motion from Glasgow and Ayrshire and Arran LMCs ‘requests that the new Scottish GP contract defines what work is not contractual to allow GP practices to reduce unresourced workload’, and calls for Scottish GPC to ‘negotiate for a move to 15-minute appointments as part of the ongoing contract negotiations’.

It also ‘demands that the new GP contract for 2017 must give GPs and practices adequate mechanisms to manage workload and list sizes without being financially punitive’.

Other motions include whether to negotiate for a separately funded workforce to conduct secondary care work, including phlebotomy, that needs to be completed in the community, and to include recognition and remuneration for time spent on CPD and any work deemed non-contractual in the new contract.

There will also be a motion from Tayside LMC that ‘deplores’ short-sighted public health initiatives such as Detecting Cancer Early, which drive unresourced demand on to GPs.

Readers' comments (6)

  • I hope that this new contract can deliver. If not, myself and many GPs like me are heading for the door. This is the last chance saloon.

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  • what I don't understand is will your 3 hour morning surgeries be increased to 4.5 hours or will you employ 33.3% more doctors to accommodate these 15 minute appointment? Because the demand is only going one way and thats up, so you'll just take longer do it. False economy???

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  • I would welcome 15 minute appointments. I actually think that if patients can spend longer with their GP and not feel as rushed then they may need fewer further appointments, a GP can be more confident about the issues and may not feel the need for as much follow up or have time to do that blood test instead of getting them to go to the nurse.
    I still think there is a place for 10 minute appointments such as for pill checks and exactly how it should be decided which is most appropriate for each patient is up for discussion, but I would give it a go and have an open mind.

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  • I don't get it? Surely we can already set our own appointment times?

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  • Clair - you are right but the demand is so high and we have so few GPS if I did 15m appointments I'd be here til midnight instead of 8pm
    I had 59 on monday and this morning stands at 23 so far.
    (My 2 minute 'coping' break between every 5 patients is a qucick article read in pulse then back to it)

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  • The grave shortage of G.P.S has compelled Our Practice of 9500 in Fraserburgh to address the practicalities of providing enough appointments in the day .The 5 minute on the day appointment has been a necessity to address the demands of patient needs .
    Our Practice provides 2 on the day rapid access 24 slot appointments on the day with additional telephone triage on days of high demand and colleagues are on leave.There are 10 min protected traditional surgery appointments.
    It is far from ideal but you learn to adapt and develop clinical skills to help evaluate and triage. 10 minutes is luxury and you learn to utilise your time effectively after a 5 minute surgery.
    .Our Patients are very understanding and tolerant and appreciate the dire situation of this Dr crisis .A prompt appointment even just for 5 minutes to see a Dr. for advice /guidance and triage is much appreciated . The 5 minute appointment is understandably extended for a clinical emergency but this can be offset by directing a Patient to a suitable appointment length to deal with a non emergency clinical problem.
    Our Practice is adapting to Nurse /Paramedic Practioners who are excellent assisting with house visits and appointments .
    I do think that General Practice needs to adapt and look at better triage to help guide Patients as to how their medical problem could be better addressed by a Clinical Practioner other than a G.P.thereby utilising G.P. Time and skill more beneficially for better Patient care.Appointments could be tailored and flexible from 5 mins to 20 mins pending the Clinical Need . Good triage from Reception /Nurse Practioner and Dr would make a great difference to better time management and accessibility.

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