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Scottish contract to free up time for GPs to focus on complex care

The new Scottish GP contract will free GPs time up to concentrate on the core work of ‘dealing with undifferentiated presentations and complex care’, the Scottish GPC has said.

Scottish GPC and Government negotiators have been travelling around Scotland to consult GPs on plans for the new-look contract, set to be implemented from 2017, which would see GPs retaining their independent contractor status and acting as the ‘senior clinical decision maker’ within the primary care team.

Dr Alan McDevitt, chair of the Scottish GPC, said that a new contract, set to be negotiated during three years’ of contractual stability, should have more ‘time built in’ to ensure ‘quality of care [and] professional and educational development’.

Dr McDevitt said: ‘We are travelling the country, outlining our view of how things could be and asking GPs to respond on how the contract can adapt to ensure a healthy future for general practice in Scotland. If, as it seems, GPs will continue be independent contractors in Scotland, the position of such contractor GPs has to be made tenable and attractive.’

Outlining the vision, he said: ‘The future will continue to be based on the GP practice and the long-term relationship with the practice list of patients. Teams should be built around these practice lists.

‘I believe the core work of GPs should be dealing with undifferentiated presentations and complex care, especially of the elderly, and with GPs being the senior clinical decision makers embedded within the primary care team.’

He added: ‘It’s important that rather than complaining about what is wrong in general practice, we start to focus on what it should be in future to deliver the care needed by Scottish patients and make it an attractive career option.  Obviously, we cannot ignore financial and resource constraints but I think we are all agreed that now is the time to refocus the role of the GP so that we can concentrate on providing GP skills to our patients.’