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Supporting General Practice

Published: 10 Mar 2017 10:36

£71.6 million investment for GPs.

An additional £71.6 million will be invested in direct support of general practice, helping transform the way services are delivered in the community, Health Secretary Shona Robison has announced.

The funds will directly support general practice in 2017/18, by improving recruitment and retention, reducing workload, developing new ways of delivering services and covering pay and expenses.

This new funding forms the first stage of the Scottish Government’s commitment to invest an extra £250 million in direct support of general practice per year by 2021 – as part of a pledge to increase overall annual funding for primary care by £500 million by 2021.

Speaking to the British Medical Association’s Scottish Local Medicine Committee in Clydebank today, Ms Robison said:

“I’ve been clear that general practice is indispensable to the health service. Without strong general practice the system can’t work and that’s why we need to show that we value it.

“We are committed to reinvigorate general practice so we can attract more people into to profession, make things better for people already working there, and ensure it has a bright future.

“This additional investment will enable us to continue to reduce workload, increase the workforce and make services fit for the future.

“I recognise there are challenges, but by listening to the profession and working with them, we are delivering the investment and reform to meet those challenges head on.”

Background

The funding will be broken down as follows:

  • £60 million for direct support of general practice. This includes £20 million towards workforce, £21 million for transformation and clusters and £5.5 million for infrastructure.
  • £11.6 million for contract uplift in 2017/18 to cover pay and expenses.

Further details of how the £60 million fund will be invested, announced today, include:

  • The GP Recruitment and Retention Fund will increase five-fold – from £1 million in 2016/17 to £5 million in 2017/18, helping fund GP bursaries and expand a scheme to encourage retired GPs to return to practice.
  • The amount a practice can claim to help pay for locum cover when a GP is on sick leave will increase to match the level of maternity leave cover.
  • A further £200,000 to reimburse the increase in the costs of completing GP appraisals.