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Scottish Parliament launches public survey on the GP independent contractor model

Members of the public in Scotland are being asked whether they think the independent contractor model of general practice is the best way to provide services, as part of a parliamentary inquiry into the future of NHS primary care.

The Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee launched the survey to kick off a ‘nationwide debate’ on what primary care should look like and how it should be delivered.

On top of a range of questions covering use of technology, access, and use of the wider primary care team, patients are being asked if they know that most GPs are self-employed and run their own practices.

The survey then asks whether patients think this model works for them, their families, and for the NHS.

The inquiry also seeks views from the public on whether they are happy to see other members of the GP practice team including pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists and what factors are most important to them in terms of access.

Patients responding to the survey, which closes at the end of April, will also be asked whether they would be happy to have video consultations and use wearable devices such as blood pressure monitors which send information back to the GP.

It is the first stage of an inquiry, which later in the year will hear oral and written evidence in answer to the public responses.

Health and Sport Committee convener Lewis Macdonald MSP said: ‘Undoubtedly, there is a need for the delivery of primary care to adapt and the Committee feels that this is the right time to take a comprehensive look at services in the primary care setting.

‘At this important juncture for the next generation of care, the Committee wants to engage a nationwide debate into what that care should look like and how it should be accessed and delivered.’

BMA Scotland GP Committee chair Dr Andrew Buist said it is vital the public is involved in decisions on what primary care looks like in the future.

He said: ‘At the BMA we have set a new course for the GP profession through the new contract that has been in place since April.

‘We firmly believe the contract and these multi-disciplinary teams working together to deliver the care that most effectively meets the needs of the patient is the foundation on which we must build the future of primary care.’

RCGP Scotland chair Dr Carey Lunan said she is pleased to see the launch of the inquiry.

She said: ‘We need a conversation with the public about what matters to them when they access services through the GP practice.

‘We know from an annual survey of our members that many patients are confused about the changes that are happening in primary care, so this inquiry is very important and welcome.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • Salaried workforce, here we come. But it will take a labour government to do and then realize many years later it costs more to run. I will get nice sick pay and not have to bother about who will cover on annual leave and better pension contributions.

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  • In the salaried future will be a lot more opportunities for locum work as per secondary care.£4000 for a weekend on call anyone.

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  • Doctors remain passive as professionalism erodes.

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  • How’s about a public consultation on the need for a bunch of second rate polticians in an unnecessary caledonian debating chamber

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  • National Hopeless Service

    Haven't we learnt from Brexit that if you ask an ill informed question you get a stupid answer. I asked a non medical friend this morning what he knew about the current contractual arrangements of GPs. Surprisingly he didn't have a clue.

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  • |National Hopeless Service | GP Partner/Principal|02 Mar 2019 12:16pm

    Exactly, I wonder what those daft Remoaners are thinking, look at the mad EU!

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  • Wow, I can finally be off sick and use workers rights to the full.

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  • If you want to see the future look at Caithness, which is truly "up north".
    Average cost per GMS patient: £273 (inc dispensing for approx. 45% of patients)
    Average cost per 2c patient: £372 (inc. dispensing for 8% of patients)

    Weighted satisfied score for GMS patients: 87%
    Weighted satisfied score for 2c patients: 75%

    Five of the 11 permanent GPs are almost certain to retire because of age within the next five years
    Six of the 20.5 “permanent” GPs working in 2004 moved away to work elsewhere, 3 retired because of ill health and 3 because of age

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  • most patients have no idea how primary care works nor are interested, as long as they can see anyone they really don't care and don't check the credentials of whoever they see. people who don't have a clue asking people who don't have a clue - bonkers.

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