GMS Oversight Group bulletin: August 2019

Bulletin of GMS Oversight Group meeting, held on 8 August 2019.

The National GMS Contract Oversight Group (the Group) met on Thursday 8 August 2019.

The Group welcomed Elinor Mitchell, the new Director of the newly created Community Health and Social Care Directorate in the Scottish Government.  It was noted that this new Directorate for Community Health and Social Care provides an opportunity to join up reform programmes and achieve a shift in the balance of care. 

The group discussed how to support the system to enable change noting that needs were different across HSCPs, depending on a range of factors including capacity, culture and capability. Primary Care Division will take forward, with the national boards, an action to identify what resources they can provide to HSCPs to support primary care transformation and the change management agenda.

The Head of Contract Implementation, Scottish Government provided the Group with a summary on the quality of Primary Care Improvement Plans (PCIPs) and trackers, overall assessment of progress, emerging challenges and supporting actions. It was noted that all 25 PCIPs had now been submitted. The quality of the plans was variable with some giving a clear direction of travel into 2021, others being more aspirational, with little operational detail beyond the current year.

Overall there was a sense that implementation was gathering pace with most activity being flagged as on track or partly on track.  A number of challenges to implementation were emerging including recruitment and affordability, as well as premises and eHealth.

It was agreed that the Group would provide key messages to the Cabinet Secretary and the Director General of Health & Social Care as to what the system needs to deliver to support the MoU commitments, and consider further areas where consensus guidance on the next stage of PCIP implementation would be helpful.

To hear about progress in developing and implementing the Primary Care Improvement Plans, the Scottish Government Primary Care Implementation Team have visited Orkney and Argyll and Bute with visits being planned for Borders, Lanarkshire and Tayside in the near future.   

Looking ahead

The Group will next meet in November 2019 when it will consider the next iteration of the trackers. Plans are also in place to issue a statement later this year on progress against MOU commitments.

For further information, please contact the Primary Care Implementation mailbox at


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