GMS contract: 2018

This document is intended primarily to provide an accessible explanation to Scotland’s GPs of the changes we propose to effect in regulations.


Shona Robison
Cabinet Secretary for Health
Scottish Government

Alan McDevitt
Scottish GP Committee, British Medical Association

We are delighted to attach a joint statement of policy that will underpin a new distinctively Scottish General Medical Services contract due to take effect in 2018.

This document is intended primarily to provide an accessible explanation to Scotland’s GPs of the changes we propose to effect in the new contract. The proposed changes will complement the complex wider contractual framework that underpins the provision of General Medical Services in Scotland. It will also be of significant interest to those planning and managing General Medical Services.

This document is the result of significant constructive engagement, over an extended period, between the Scottish General Practitioners’ Committee of the British Medical Association and the Scottish Government, as the parties authorised to negotiate the provision of General Medical Services. All the commitments made in this document and the ambitions for future change set out are shared and agreed.

We believe this is a landmark step on a journey already begun.

On 3 November 2016 we wrote to all general practitioners in Scotland [1] setting out our shared vision for general practice in Scotland. We restated our commitment to general practice, and the essential generalist care it provides, with Scotland’s GPs supported to be the expert medical generalists in our communities.

We equally recognised the fundamental challenges faced by general practice, not least growing workload and increasing risk. Given these challenges, we emphasised the need to ensure stability as we transform through taking a measured, step-wise approach.

We have already taken substantial practical steps on that journey, not least the removal of the Quality and Outcomes Framework and introduction of GP cluster working, and this joint statement of policy sets out the next practical steps we will take to deliver on our shared vision and to meet the challenges facing general practice.

We believe that the policies set out in this document will provide the secure foundation that general practice needs. It recognises that general practice is an essentially collaborative endeavour, collaborative in terms of the enhanced multi-disciplinary teams that are required to deliver effective care; the joint working between GP practices in clusters; and, essentially, as part of the wider integrated health and social care landscape.

More effective sharing of information and sharing of responsibilities is essential to better manage the challenges of increasing workload and risk. And if we can better manage these challenges it will achieve our most fundamental aim, which is to provide the very best care for the people of Scotland.

Shona Robison
Cabinet Secretary for Health

Shona Robison Cabinet Secretary for Health

Alan McDevitt
Chair, SGPC

Alan McDevitt Chair, SGPC


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