£50m of changes to primary health care

Dr Sheena MacDonald
Dr Sheena MacDonald

GP recruitment and retention has proved challenging in the Borders and it is one of the major health issues the Scottish Government is spending £50 million on.

Over the next three years the Government will look at the immediate workload and recruitment issues of GPs and primary health care staff and long-term, sustainable changes within primary care.

There are a number of strands to the £50 million spending: £20.5 million will be allocated to GP practices to prototype the new vision for the GP contract being introduced in 2017; £16.2 million on recruiting up to 140 new pharmacists, with advanced clinical skills training, to free up GP time to spend with other patients; and £2.5 million on exploring GP recruitment and retention.

Sheena MacDonald, NHS Borders medical director said: “NHS Borders welcomes the investment from the Scottish Government into primary care services.

“The investment will help provide additional support to face the national challenges around GP recruitment and retention and will ensure services are fit for the future needs of those we care for.”

“We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to introduce this funding into our primary care services in the Scottish Borders.”

Health Secretary Shona Robison said the new investment was the beginning of the process towards designing primary care services for the future.

“Many GPs find workload and recruitment issues challenging, and we’ll keep working with the profession to address this,” she said.

“We’re working on a completely new GP contract which will implement much of the learning from the next few years to redesign services in a collaborative way.”