Over 160,000 patients affected as Scotland has more practices that have returned contract to health boards than any previous year on record

Publication date: 26 September 2017

2016 saw 52 2c practices across Scotland, the highest figure on record. A 2c practice is one which has returned its contract to the health board, feeling unable to meet its obligations.

In the ten years from 2007 to 2016, the number of patients registered with 2c practices almost doubled from 83,290 (which was 1.5% of patients) to 160,322 (2.8% of patients).

Speaking from his practice in Dingwall, Dr Miles Mack, Chair of RCGP Scotland, said:

“Right across Scotland, GP practices are being forced to close their doors or hand their contracts back to health boards. RCGP is particularly concerned over the impact that changing to 2c has on patient care and on lost value for money in healthcare services. In particular, it means that GPs are no longer in a leadership role and there is less continuity of care for patients.

“Patients’ GP services have been the target of disinvestment for over a decade, falling from 9.8% of NHS Scotland’s spending in 2005/06 to just 7.2% in 2015/16, the last year we have figures for. Sufficient action must be taken to fill the projected shortfall of 856 GPs across Scotland by 2021. To fund that appropriately we need 11% of NHS Scotland’s budget to go to general practice services. The Scottish Government’s own Govan SHIP project has shown how much patients can benefit through such measures. Funding for wider primary care, already at 23% of NHS Scotland’s budget, also could be increased.”

Further Information

RCGP Scotland Press Enquiries to: David Webster (020 3188 7739 or 07808 795 494) or Lizzie Edwards 020 3188 7741.

Notes to editor

RCGP Scotland represents a network of around 5,000 family doctors in Scotland aiming to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on resources, education, training, research and clinical standards.

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