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Scottish LMCs back three-year GP contract

LMC leaders in Scotland have called on the Scottish GPC to push for a three-year contract from next year and further reductions to QOF workload.

The annual Scottish LMCs conference, held last week in Clydebank, backed a motion congratulating negotiators on this year’s contract and calling for the Scottish GPC (SGPC) to ‘work closely with GPs and LMCs in developing a three-year contract for 2015/16’.

It also backed a motion welcoming the removal of 264 QOF points from the QOF in Scotland, and called for negotiators to go further and remove more ‘unnecessary and unhelpful bureaucracy’ from the framework.

Proposing the first motion, Dr John Ip, medical secretary at Glasgow LMC, said the new contract offered ‘a glimmer of hope’ but argued negotiators and GPs needed to take a longer term approach to shaping the contract in future.

Dr Ip said: ‘I believe [the new contract] gives GPs a glimmer of hope for a post tick-box world. The real challenge, though, starts now – the next stages will determine the shape and focus of general practice as we approach the latter years of this decade. There are many major issues that need to be addressed.’

He added: ‘We’re at the stage where we need to put the last 10 years behind us and move forward and learn from the past decade. We need ideas from GPs and we in LMCs and SGPC need to engage and be proactive with colleagues on getting feedback on how to take things forward for the next 10 years.’

Dr Steven Haigh, from Lothian LMC, cautioned against expressing support for the current contract until full details were available.

Dr Haigh said: ‘I think we have to be a little muted in our congratulations but still support [the three-year move].

‘To be honest we don’t have the details of the quality and access parts of this new contract, we already demonstrate in numerous ways the quality we produce day by day and I really think until we see the details we should not support [this].’