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United Kingdom : Scottish GMS contract agreed.

GPs across Scotland are to benefit from a period of stability following the conclusion of GMS contract negotiations between the Scottish Government and the BMA s Scottish General Practitioners Committee.

Agreed this week, the new arrangements will give general practice financial and contractual stability until April 2017 and address many of the immediate challenges facing the GP profession.

One key element is that no major changes are planned for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) between now and 2017. For this year, the QOF was reduced by a third to 659 points ensuring more of a GP s income is paid through a core payment rather than performance-related pay. This also reduces the bureaucratic burden on general practice, freeing up GPs to spend more time with patients.

Other features of the new agreement include removing the automatic entitlement to Golden Hellos except in remote/rural or deprived areas from 1 January 2015 and instead using the funding to create a new arrangement for boards to make payments available to practices in Scotland where there is evidence of significant recruitment difficulties.

Some of the funding freed up from Golden Hellos will be used to develop a national programme with NHS Education for Scotland (NES) which will support GPs wishing to return to practice.

Other commitments agreed are:

Health boards will now be required to fund the costs incurred by sessional locum GPs for their annual appraisal,

Publication of practice income during 2015-16, while continuing to discuss proposals to publish in future GPs NHS net earnings.

A joint review of the existing Seniority arrangements in order to support the retention of GPs in Scotland with any agreed changes for implementation no earlier than 2017/18,

Develop work to ensure general practice plays an integral role in the development and planning of local services being undertaken by the emerging Health and Social Care Integration Authorities,

Also ensure GPs are central to the implementation of Prescription for Excellence, ensuring general practice can support the developing role of clinical pharmacist in providing patient care.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil, said: The Scottish Government is committed to continuing to support, build upon and sustain Scottish general practice. This contract emphasises the importance of the professionalism of GPs, and demonstrates our commitment to a significant period of stability of the contract and for funding.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 14, 2014
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