General Practice: Contract and Context - Principles of the Scottish Approach

Letter response and memorandum of understanding to the British Medical Association Scottish General Practitioner Committee (SGPC).

1. Introduction

1.1 On 15 th December 2015, in a debate in the Scottish Parliament, Shona Robison, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, set out her Vision for primary care and general practice:

  • General practice and primary care at the heart of the healthcare system.
  • People who need care more informed and empowered than ever, with access to the right person at the right time, and remaining at or near home wherever possible.
  • Multi-disciplinary teams in every locality, both in and out of hours, involved in the strategic planning and delivery of services.

1.2 This document re-states that vision; locates it in the wider context of health and social care integration in Scotland; describes how it is guiding discussions on the future contract and context of general practice; and describes how Scottish Government and the Scottish General Practitioners Committee ( SGPC) of the BMA will work together, and with wider stakeholders, to achieve it.

1.3 On 15 October 2016, in a landmark announcement the First Minister committed to invest an additional £500 million a year in primary care by 2021/22. This will bring the share of NHS frontline spending on primary care to 11%. This generational shift in investment will be the foundation of delivering the vision for primary care and general practice.

1.4 However, we recognise that general practice is facing challenges here and now: increased workload; increased risk relating to staff and premises; recruitment and retention. All of our efforts are focussed on positive change in general practice in Scotland that addresses these challenges in the here and now and help us achieve our long term vision.

1.4 The intended audience for this document is primarily GPs, though we hope the update is also of interest to the full team of primary care professionals who work in our communities. It recaps key progress in the last 18 months in Scotland, and signposts key stages over the next 18 months.


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