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Increased investment in primary care

Published: 15 Oct 2016 15:52

Extra £500 million for community health services.

A further £500 million will be invested in primary care by the end of this parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The increased investment in primary care will support the development of a multi-disciplinary approach to primary care, with increased staffing as well as investment in GP services and health centres. It reflects the Scottish Government's commitment to shift the balance of care away from hospitals and towards primary and community settings.

The shift in funding will mean that by the end of this parliament, for the first time, half of frontline NHS spending will be spent in our Community Health Service.

The First Minister also reaffirmed the Scottish Government's commitment to increase overall health spending by almost £2 billion by the end of this parliament, which is £500 million more than inflation-only increases.

Ms Sturgeon said:

"Over this parliament, we will increase health spending by almost £2 billion. That's a necessary commitment but it is not sufficient.

"To make our NHS fit for the future we must reform as well as invest. That will involve tough decisions – but the challenge of an ageing population demands it. It's why this government has integrated health and social care..

"And it's why we are expanding standalone elective capacity through five new treatment centres. But we must go further. The NHS of the future must be built on a real shift from acute care to primary and community care.

"So the commitment I am announcing today is a landmark one.

"By the end of this parliament, we will increase spending on primary care services to 11% of the frontline NHS budget. That's what doctors have said is needed. And it is what we will deliver.

"And let me be clear what that means. By 2021, an extra half billion pounds will be invested in our GP practices and health centres.

"And it means, for the first time ever, that half of the health budget will be spent, not in acute hospitals, but in the community - delivering primary, community and social care.

"Building an NHS that delivers today and for generations to come – that is what this government is determined to do."