Date lodged: 9 March 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the report that the five GPs at the Deans and Eliburn Medical Practice in West Lothian have resigned; what discussions it has had with NHS Lothian about the future of the practice, and what support it can provide to help ensure that it has a sustainable future.
Answered by: Shona Robison 20 March 2017
NHS Lothian will be taking over Deans and Eliburn Medical Practice from 1 April 2017 and will ensure that patients continue to receive a high standard of care.
NHS boards have various means of supporting independently contracted practices which request assistance. We expect Health boards to work with practices as constructively and as flexibly as is appropriate to ensure that all patients have access to GP services. The Scottish Government is aware of concerns around recruitment issues in Lothian and elsewhere in Scotland, these will be taken into account as the 2017 GMS contract negotiations go forward.
In 2017-18 we will invest £72 million in the Primary Care Fund to improve primary care and GP services. As part of this, £5 million will be invested in work to explore with key stakeholders the issues surrounding GP recruitment and retention. This is the first step to increase spending on Community Health Services by £500 million by 2021-22 so that it is at least £1,283 million. This commitment will mean that by 2021-22, for the first time, more than half of the NHS frontline spending will be in our Community Health Service.