Scottish GP leaders are calling on the public to get involved in developing policy for the future of NHS general practice in Scotland.
BMA Scotland yesterday (Tuesday 3 March 2009) published a new consultation document to encourage debate and discussion on a long-term strategy for general practice.
It says rising patient expectations, increased demand for access to GP appointments and limited opportunities for newly qualified GPs, are just some of the challenges facing Scottish General Practice today. BMA Scotland is keen to hear what the profession and patients believe are the key priorities for action.
Dr Dean Marshall (pictured), chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GPs’ Committee, said: “We welcome the Scottish government’s commitment to NHS general practice. It is our view, however, that there is a pressing need to develop a strategy for general practice in Scotland that can deliver on the Scottish government’s health policies.”
The consultation document, General Practice in Scotland: The Way Ahead, considers six areas that GPs consider require the most urgent attention:
Dr Marshall said: “Every year, more than 23 million consultations take place in GP surgeries across Scotland. For most patients, general practice is the first and only point of contact in the NHS system.
“We recognise that the public wants greater access to GP services but this cannot be achieved within the current structures and resources. By consulting on these issues, I hope that we can have a sensible debate about what NHS general practice can deliver and where we need to adapt to become more responsive to our patients.
Extracts from the consultation document include: