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New GP contracts 'would allow more time with patients'

Plans for what is being called the biggest reform in over a decade has been revealed.

Vote: It will be the biggest shake up in over a decade.
Vote: It will be the biggest shake up in over a decade.

Plans to reform GPs contracts to allow them more time with patients have been revealed.

The new GP contract, jointly written and agreed with the British Medical Association, will be the biggest shake up in GPs services in over a decade.

Alongside this, the Scottish Government will also announce further details of a fund to reduce the risks for GPs of leading or owning premises, which are increasingly stopping new doctors entering general practice and forcing many to leave.

The move is part of an overall transformation in community health services which will see an additional £500m invested every year by 2021, £250m of which will be invested in direct support of general practice.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "GPs tell us they want to spend more time with patients and less time on bureaucracy, while patients say they want better access to GPs when they really need them.

"We have listened and, I believe, we have achieved that balance.

"These changes, agreed jointly with the British Medical Association, will give patients the right care in the right place. Patient safety is at the very heart of this agreement and is the central principle guiding how changes will be implemented.

"We are also investing in facilities which will offer more doctors the chance to enter the profession.

"We are confident that this contract best supports Scotland's primary healthcare needs while also making general practice an even more attractive employment prospect for doctors."

Dr Alan McDevitt, chair of BMA Scotland's GP Committee, said: "I believe that the contract we have negotiated will pave the way for a sustainable future for general practice in Scotland by reducing workload pressures and making general practice an attractive career choice once more."

GPs have between December 7 2017 and January 4 2018 to vote on whether to accept the new contract, which will come into effect on 1 April 2018.

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