National Association for Patient Participation

Scotland


“GPs must be the future of our health services. No one else knows a patient’s physical, psychological and social makeup so well.”
Colin Angus, Chair, Patient Partnership in Practice

General practice is the cornerstone of a sustainable health service. RCGP Scotland has been campaigning to ensure that we protect the heart of general practice and its vital role in delivering patient care.

To deliver a sustainable future for general practice, action must be taken to:

• Ensure that any future changes to models of care must protect the Core Values of general practice and ensure that the GP remains central to patient care. In doing so, the patient-doctor relationship is enshrined and protected.

• Address the general practice workforce crisis. RCGP Scotland’s analysis shows a projected shortfall of 856 Whole Time Equivalent GPs by 2021. We can help boost GP numbers by increasing the numbers of GP trainees, further investing in a high-profile recruitment campaign and promoting the NHS Education for Scotland’s GP Retainer and Returner programmes.

• Improve GP retention and address increasing workload pressures. A 2015 survey found that over half (54%) of GPs feel their current workload is unmanageable or sustainable. As a result, some GPs leave general practice.

• Ensure that 11% of the total NHS Scotland budget goes to general practice to improve services for patients, reduce strain on doctors and make the profession an attractive option for medical students.

• Increase awareness of schemes available to support the wellbeing of GPs.

• Appropriately increase funding to GPs in areas of high socio-economic deprivation and health inequalities across Scotland. These funds cannot be moved from struggling practices throughout the rest of the country, whether they be in remote and rural or in urban settings. More funding must be delivered to the system overall.

• Implement existing pledges to expand the wider general practice team by 2021. Keep members of the wider general practice team part of general practice structures to best safeguard patient safety and quality of care, and clarify that only GPs can be allowed to perform the role of GPs.

• Specifically invest in improvements across the interfaces of care, which are known to be areas of high risk for both patients and the clinicians providing their care.

• Improve the IT systems that GPs rely on to provide safe, effective and high quality care, especially for patients with complex health and social care needs.

• In line with the principles of Realistic Medicine, engage in a wider public discussion about the appropriate and sustainable use of general practice services, rightly available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

We promoted these calls ahead of the 2017 General Election. Click here to download a copy of our manifesto.

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