The contract negotiated by this suave Scotsman in his most recent role as chair of the Scottish BMA’s GP Committee has changed the face of general practice in Scotland.
It is a major departure, separating the profession in Scotland from that in the rest of the UK. The contract reshapes the role of the GP into an ‘expert medical generalist’, overseeing multidisciplinary teams. It also sees the NHS take on premises burdens from GP partners, and guarantees a minimum salary for partners.
Dr McDevitt was able to overcome opposition from rural GPs, who were vocal in claiming that the contract would have a negative impact them. It won support from 71% of GPs in the final ballot.
The Glasgow GP described the decision by the SGPC to implement the new contract as ‘a great moment after such a long journey’.
Just to highlight how different things have become in Scotland, Dr McDevitt went as far as to thank government negotiators – a rare step indeed from a GP leader: ‘Unusually perhaps, I would also like to thank the Scottish Government’s negotiators. It takes two sides to agree a contract, and we worked to agree our joint aims and then worked collaboratively to deliver on them. We called it the Scottish negotiating approach.’
Having stood down as SGPC chair, Dr McDevitt will be a valued member of the Scottish BMA council.
Why influential: Delivered the most radical contract in the UK since 2004
Random fact: Once auditioned to be the doctor on the Bugs Bunny Saturday morning show