Improving General Practice Sustainability Group: 2019 Report

Progress report based on the workings of the Sustainability Working group and the recommendations of the 2017 Sustainability Report.

1. Introduction


This report, produced for the Improving General Practice Sustainability Working Group (Working Group), provides an update on the programme of work undertaken during 2017/18 to implement the Improving Practice Sustainability: Recommendations of the Short Life Working Group (SLWG) Report, published November 2016.

Background to The Sustainability Report 2016

It is widely acknowledged that the sustainability of the GP Practice model has been challenged over time by a number of complex societal and operational pressures[1]. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport requested in March 2016 that Scottish Government officials establish a SLWG with key stakeholders to better understand the pressures facing general practice. The main objectives of the multi-partner Working Group were to develop an understanding of the underlying issues contributing to practices getting into difficulty and to make recommendations on how general practices in Scotland could be supported to improve their sustainability over the short, medium and longer term. Membership included representation from SGPC[2], RCGP[3] and both territorial and national NHS Boards including NHS24.

The SLWG produced a report indicating 4 key recommendations:

  • Enact a Sustainability Action Plan for managing sustainable General Practice workload that contains short, medium and long term actions.
  • Develop a Practice Sustainability Network that both shares and supports current and future learning on practice sustainability across Scotland.
  • Promote the use of, and share learning from, a Practice Sustainability Assessment Tool.
  • Create a longer term General Practice Sustainability Group.

Both the learning and Report recommendations have been instrumental in shaping the scope and content of contract negotiations between the Scottish Government and the BMA[4], the final content of the new GMS[5] contract and associated enablers of change e.g. the National Code of Practice for GP Premises.


Email: Hilary Lagha

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