GP practices will receive £9.3 million of new funding from the SNP Government to upgrade their premises and IT systems, supporting better services for local communities in North Ayrshire and across Scotland.
The funding will facilitate improvements to GP practices and enhancements to make the best use of existing space. It will improve internet connectivity and also support the deployment of Attend Anywhere - an online virtual clinic that patients can link into wherever they are.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman MSP said:
“This is a substantial investment by the SNP Government which will support GPs, the wider primary care workforce and the communities they serve.
“The upgrades to premises and IT systems will see continued improvements to the delivery of high quality patient care, including the continued deployment of Attend Anywhere in our remote and rural areas.
“This investment is part of a wider commitment to increase general practice funding by £250 million by 2021 as part of an extra investment of £500 million per year for primary care funding. This funding together with our wider reform programme will mean additional staff working in primary care, providing better services for patients and allowing them to see the right person at the right time.”
Scottish GP Committee deputy chair Patricia Moultrie said:
“This is welcome funding for GP premises and will allow partners to improve their practices and give much-need updates to IT systems. This funding is definitely a step in the right direction in regards to making premises fit for the multidisciplinary teams working within general practice in the future, as we look towards the development of Phase 2 of the GP contract.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“This investment is the latest in a series of measures to make it easier and more appealing for new doctors to become GPs. It follows on from the new GP contract developed in partnership with the BMA is helping to cut doctors' workload.
“Along with investment in multi-disciplinary teams, this is helping patients to be seen at the right time by the right person. Having the appropriate infrastructure in place is another key element in the process of doing this and I welcome this investment.”
Meanwhile, a scheme to tackle a shortage of GPs in some of Scotland's most isolated communities could be rolled out after proving a success in four health boards in the north of Scotland. The Joy initiative, which is aimed at helping doctors "rediscover the joy of general practice", has so far seen 27 doctors recruited to work up to 18 weeks a year in practices that previously found it difficult to attract a GP. It has been used in the areas covered by NHS Highland, Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.