News

Funding for improvements to GP practices

Published: 24 Oct 2019 10:00

£9.34 million to upgrade premises and IT systems.

GP practices will receive more than £9 million of new funding to upgrade their premises and IT systems supporting better services for local communities.

The funding will facilitate improvements to GP practices and enhancements to make the best use of existing space. It will improve internet connectivity and also support the deployment of Attend Anywhere - an online virtual clinic that patients can link into wherever they are.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“This is a substantial investment by the Scottish Government which will support GPs, the wider primary care workforce and the communities they serve.

“The upgrades to premises and IT systems will see continued improvements to the delivery of high quality patient care, including the continued deployment of Attend Anywhere in our remote and rural areas.

“This investment is part of a wider commitment to increase general practice funding by £250 million by 2021 as part of an extra investment of £500 million per year for primary care funding. This funding together with our wider reform programme will mean additional staff working in primary care, providing better services for patients and allowing them to see the right person at the right time.”

Scottish GP Committee deputy chair Patricia Moultrie said:

“This is welcome funding for GP premises and will allow partners to improve their practices and give much-need updates to IT systems. This funding is definitely a step in the right direction in regards to making premises fit for the multidisciplinary teams working within general practice in the future, as we look towards the development of Phase 2 of the GP contract.”

Background

The £9.34 million will be split as below:

  • £5.14 million to fund digitisation of GP paper records and improvements to GP premises

       - £5 million allocated to Integration Authorities to carry out digitisation of GP paper records and improvements to GP premises

       - £0.14 million to NHS National Services Scotland to digitise paper GP records transferring between paper-light GP practices

  • £4.2 million will support implementation of Primary Care Improvement Plans (PCIPs) and improvements to GP IT, and improve practices’ internet connectivity.

       - £2.2 million of this would be targeted to supporting Boards on their implementation of PCIPs and on their improvements to GP IT in 2019-20 and promoting joint working, including specific support to rural and remote areas.

       - A further £1.8 million funding would be targeted to making faster progress on two other key areas of supporting infrastructure investment:

                     - Internet connectivity

                     - Staff and patient Wi-Fi in practices.

       - £600,000 of the £1.8 million is going to be used to pay for the on-going costs of practices which have already had their internet connection upgraded. This cost wasn’t paid from the Primary Care Fund previously and is a direct result of previous investment to improve internet connections. Around £100,000 is identified for upgrading further practice internet connections.

       - The remaining £200,000 would be targeted at supporting the deployment of Attend Anywhere to remote and rural GP practices.

  • The new GP contract developed in partnership with the BMA, is helping to cut doctors' workload. Along with investment in multi-disciplinary teams is making the career even more attractive to new doctors, and helping patients to be seen at the right time by the right person.
  • A central aim of the new GP contract is to focus GP time on complex care, while building capacity in the wider multi-disciplinary team.