RCGP Scotland responds to the Health and Sport Committee's Report on Primary Care

Responding to today's publication of the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee's report, 'What should primary care look like for the next generation? Phase II', Dr David Shackles, Joint Chair of RCGP Scotland said:

"GPs and the wider multidisciplinary primary care team work exceptionally hard day in, day out, to meet the varied and complex needs of their patients. While we agree that improvements can and should be made to ensure that primary care can deliver patient-centred care now and in the future, it is simply not the case that this will be achieved by extending the opening times of GP surgeries. This recommendation by the Committee also does not reflect the hard work of our colleagues in the Out of Hours service who ensure that primary care in Scotland is available to patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We will continue to work collaboratively with all partners to ensure that the target of increasing the GP workforce by 800 by 2027 is reached. We would, of course, also like to see workforce numbers across the primary care multidisciplinary team bolstered to ensure that the needs of patients can be most appropriately met. A thriving primary care workforce will ensure that the skills across our diverse primary care professions can be best utilised.

The report's focus on improving data sharing and technology within primary care is welcome - these are areas that we have been calling for action to be taken for many years. Improving the IT systems that primary care teams use will bring huge benefits for patients and increase efficiency within the NHS.

For many years, we have been calling for a national conversation to take place with the public on what the NHS can reasonably and sustainably deliver in the modern age. We have also been calling for a campaign to improve patients' understanding of what changes to the delivery of primary care will mean for them. We are pleased to see these recommendations included in the Committee's report and stand ready to work with all partners, including Health and Sport Committee members to make this a reality."

Further information

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RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574

Out of hours: 0203 188 7659 


Notes to editor

  1. RCGP Scotland represents a network of around 5,000 doctors in Scotland aiming to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standard of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on resources, education, training, research and clinical standards.
  2. The Health and Sport Committee’s report.
  3. Media requests to Lizzie Edwards, Policy and Campaigns Manager. Tel: 07787 216842 / lizzie.edwards@rcgp.org.uk