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).

2. How we work

2.1 The Scottish Government and the SGPC are the two parties to the negotiation on GP contractual matters in Scotland. Our ultimate interest is the same: a sustainable future for general practice, which allows general practice to play a critical role in improving the health of our communities. This means we focus on shared interests and we work together to identify the best solutions to mutual objectives. We have seen significant progress taking this collaborative approach which includes the removal of the bureaucratic Quality and Outcomes Framework ( QOF) and introduction of GP clusters.

2.2 We understand and agree that progressing on this shared interest requires discussion that goes beyond the GP contract to the wider context. We will need to invest in particular in primary care workforce and infrastructure (physical and digital) if we are to develop the multi-disciplinary teams that will help realise our vision. These changes go beyond the GP contract and require wider engagement. As this wider engagement develops, with Health and Social Care Partnerships ( HSCPs) and others, our expectation is that the GP contract focus more specifically, as it should, on evolving the role of the GP.

2.3 We discuss these wider terms too in a collaborative way, with a wider set of stakeholders. The Scottish Government has an advisory Reference Group on the GP contract, comprising NHS Health Board Chief Executives, HSCP Chief Officers, NHS Board medical, finance and planning directors and the Chief Nursing Officer. A range of short life working groups - on premises, GP workload, clusters - are currently developing advice and future options on these key issues. In addition to Scottish Government and SGPC; membership of these groups includes Royal College of General Practitioners, representatives from HSCPs and Health Boards and wider Primary Care stakeholder groups.

2.4 We consider this collaborative approach to both negotiations on the contract and discussions on the context a strength of the approach in Scotland.


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