National Association for Patient Participation

SCOTLAND Put Patients First campaign in Scottish Parliament

10 November 2017

General practice has been firmly on the Scottish Parliament’s agenda in recent weeks. Parliamentarians from across all of the main parties have focused their attention on GP funding, recruitment and the future of the profession.

The Auditor General’s recently published report, NHS in Scotland 2017 highlighted key areas of concern around GP recruitment and GP retention, the low morale amongst the GP workforce and, more generally, on funding for the transformation agenda. We have long since been calling for improvements in these areas to secure the future of general practice in Scotland and ensure that we tackle the predicted shortfall of 856 Whole Time Equivalent GPs in Scotland by 2021.

Last week, during a Scottish Labour debate on health, the Auditor General’s report was debated at length. Throughout the debate, many MSPs referred to our calls for 11% of NHS Scotland funding to go to general practice and cited concerns over practices closing, GPs leaving Scotland to work elsewhere and unfit-for-purpose 10 minute consultations.

The support for our campaign was also visual, with many members sporting our ‘Put Patients First: Back general practice’ badges.

This debate coincided with a campaign currently underway by the Scottish Conservative Party to ‘Save our Surgeries’, which centres on six key asks to improve the state of general practice in Scotland. You can read more about their campaign here.

While it is hugely encouraging to see politicians backing our campaign and highlighting the problems facing general practice, bold action is needed to ensure that meaningful progress can be made.

We will continue to keep fighting to ensure that family doctors can continue to deliver the best possible standard of care to patients.

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