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GPs to review access annually under new Scottish contract deal

Scottish GPs will be expected to review patient access to their surgeries annually under a new contract deal from April that will see QOF slashed and practices working closer with new ‘health and social care partnership’ organisations.

Under the new contract for 2014/15 in Scotland, the QOF will be slashed by 264 points, leaving just 659 in the framework and the funding transferred into the core element of the contract.

In return, Scottish GPs will be expected to work with the new health and social care partnerships (HSCPs) which are being brought in by the Scottish Government to replace community health partnerships (CHPs).

This work will see the creation of a new QOF domain from April, called the quality and safety domain, which will focus on access, quality, integration and ongoing patient safety work.

It will see practices expected to nominate a liaison GP to work with the HSCPs, undertake an annual assessment of demand, facilitate a quality improvement visit every three years as well as producing a quality programme report every year.

Scottish GPC chair Dr Alan McDevitt said the contract would help ensure financial stability for GPs. He said: ‘We are pleased that the Scottish Government has recognised that GPs are facing unprecedented pressures on workload with rising demand within limited resources and that, by reducing much of the unnecessary bureaucracy associated with the QOF, GPs will be freed to focus more on their patients.’

The 2014/15 Scottish GP contract agreement includes:

  • The removal of 264 points from the QOF leaving a total of 659 points remaining
  • A substantial transfer of funding from the QOF to the core funding element of the contract
  • The creation of a new quality and safety QOF domain which will retain anticipatory care plans and new areas of access, quality, integration and ongoing patient safety work
  • Access: GP practices will undertake an annual assessment of current demand – assessing both met and unmet need, using a model and process agreed by the BMA and the Scottish Government. Practices will be encouraged to involve patients in the review process
  • Integration: Each practice will nominate a liaison GP to link to a liaison person from the new health and social care integration partnerships
  • Quality: A quality improvement visit will take place at practices once every three years. Practices will produce an annual quality programme report.

Source: BMA