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Scottish Government awards GPs 0.28% uplift but pledges further ‘£6m investment’ into GP contract

GPs in Scotland will receive a 0.28% uplift to global sum funding, but could receive further increases after the Scottish Government said it was investing an extra £6m into the GP contract.

The increase, which the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) formula said translated to a 1% increase in GP pay when ‘decreasing’ staff costs are taken into account, is the same as was announced for England and Wales yesterday.

However, the Scottish Government also said it was investing a total of £6m, but failed to provide details about how GPs would benefit above and beyond the 0.28% uplift.

Scottish GP leaders meeting in Glasgow today said they were in discussions with the Scottish Government as to whether the £6m incorporated the approximately £2m for the 0.28% uplift, and whether any more work would be involved.

The Scottish health minister, Alex Neil, said: ‘Yesterday I confirmed that the Scottish Government will ensure that our hardworking and dedicated NHS staff rightly receive the wage increases they were promised. I am pleased that today we are able to offer the same pay increase for GPs.’

‘In fact, the £6m investment in primary care goes beyond the recommendations of the review body on doctors and dentists pay because we recognise the valuable role that GPs and their staff play in providing health care services at the heart of our communities to improve the public’s health.’

Last year, Scottish GPs received a somewhat smaller uplift than the rest of the UK, at 1.25%, compared to 1.32% in England and 1.5% in Wales and Northern Ireland. However, changes to the contract were warmly welcomed by Scottish GP leaders.

Dr Alan McDevitt, chair of the Scottish GPC, told Pulse: ‘I think what it means is it includes the DDRB uplift of 1% for GPs so the £6m includes that.

‘How it comes to general practice has yet to be discussed and decided. There will be a negotiation – the minister himself hinted it would be to support the direction of travel of this year’s agreement.’

He added: ‘I think it was quite clear from our audience participation that they don’t want to see that attached to a lot of extra work but we still need to have that discussion – I welcome the additional funding but we do need to know what that means about how it will come into general practice.’