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Scottish rural GPs to receive more BMA help due to ‘inequitable’ contract

GP leaders in Scotland have voted to support rural GPs more following the consequences of implementing the new Scottish GP contract.

Scottish LMC members voted in favour of a motion recognising phase one of the Scottish contract has not resourced rural GPs in an ‘equitable’ way as GPs working in urban areas.

At the Scottish LMCs conference on 29 November, a motion put forward by Ayrshire & Arran GPs called for the BMA Scotland GP Committee to note that ‘manpower resource’ is not reaching rural practices.

GPs consequently asked the GPC to help mitigate the ongoing funding and resource gap and to clarify what is defined as ‘rural’ for practices.

Part iii of the motion, also carried, instructed the GPC to acknowledge that a lack of resources ‘aggravates’ the workload gap that rural GPs face in contrast to urban practitioners.

Scottish GP Committee chair Dr Andrew Buist acknowledged the greater challenges rural GPs are facing in his opening speech at the conference.

He said: ‘We absolutely remain committed to ensuring that flexible ways of working within contract implementation are found for rural areas – ways that work both for GPs and crucially for patients.’

Motion in full:

37 Agenda Committee: That this conference, with respect to phase 1 of the new GP contract implementation in rural practices:

i. observes that rhetoric exceeds reality

ii. notes that manpower resource is not reaching these practices in a manner equitable with their urban colleagues

iii. believes that this lack of resource further aggravates the divisions that were evident with the workload allocation formula

iv. calls on SGPC to develop additional mechanisms to mitigate this ongoing funding and resource gap

v. calls for clarity on what defines as rural for remote and rural practices to allow implementation of variation.