RCGP Scotland response to Scottish Government’s vision for health and social care

Commenting on the debate on the Scottish Government’s vision for health and social care, RCGP Scotland Chair Dr Chris Provan said:

"RCGP Scotland welcomes today's statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care on the Scottish Government’s vision for the NHS.  As noted in the Cabinet Secretary’s comments, primary care is the bedrock of healthcare, and GPs are utterly essential to delivering the person centred care necessary to attain better health outcomes among the population. The evidence supports investing in general practice.

"However, general practice in Scotland is in crisis. We have a shrinking GP workforce trying to deal with increasing demand for healthcare.  Practice premises and IT infrastructure are not fit for purpose.  Without a major shift to prioritise primary care in the Scottish Government's long-term strategy, policy planning, and resource allocation, this vision will not be achieved.  

"Without general practice, the rest of the health service would be overwhelmed, and the NHS simply would not exist as we know it. To achieve the Scottish Government’s vision for care closer to home, funding for general practice must comprise at least 11% of the total NHS budget and a credible workforce plan must be delivered to put the GP workforce back on a stable footing.

"Amidst the ongoing workload and workforce crisis, the vision outlined in Parliament today is a welcome first step, but much more work is needed to take on the challenges our health and social care system faces." 

Notes to editor

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. 

Media requests to Angus Gould, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, RCGP Scotland. Telephone: 07808 795493. Email: angus.gould@rcgp.org.uk.