The chair of the BMA Scotland GP Committee is calling for the pace of implementation of the new GP contract to be accelerated to ensure maximum benefit.
Speaking at the Scottish local medical committees conference last week (29 November), Dr Andrew Buist said progress on implementation has been “patchy” and is causing frustration for GPs across the country.
“As a key example, health boards must deliver the staff needed for multi-disciplinary teams, in the timescales set out,” he said. “Every board needs to put this at the top of their to-do list. And we need a clear, practical national workforce plan from the Scottish Government to make this a reality.”
The Scottish Health Secretary supported Dr Buist’s sentiments, saying progress on implementing phase one of the new GP contract simply wasn’t happening quickly enough.
Addressing the conference, Ms Jeane Freeman said that, at Dr Buist’s request, she has written to health and social care partnerships to ask them to ensure that their primary care implementation plans will deliver on the new contract.
Scottish GPs overwhelmingly backed the first Scotland-only GP contract, which aims to ensure the sustainability of general practice.
Implementation of phase one of the 2018 Scotland-only GP contract got underway in April 2018. The plan includes measures aimed at improving workload pressures and reducing the risk associated with being a GP partner. Measures also include making the GP the leader of a wider multi-disciplinary team and providing financial assistance for premises.
Negotiations will begin shortly on phase two of the contract, which will focus on workforce and earnings.