The SNP Government has allocated over £2 million of funding over the next two years for innovative projects to improve GP recruitment and retention to projects across the country, as part of the Government’s £85 million Primary Care Fund.
Initiatives include the development of a locum pool of retired GPs, a GP recruitment programme run by the Royal College of General Practitioners and a Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative in seven health boards to bring together recruitment strategies and support networks for GPs working in remote and rural areas.
Health Secretary Shona Robison announced the funding and emphasised that the SNP Government was committed to working with health boards and professional bodies to improve GP recruitment and retention in Scotland.
Ms Robison said:
“This investment will help to get innovative and exciting projects off the ground – allowing frontline staff to test new ways of working and new models of care that can be rolled out nationally if they are successful.
“We have allocated £20 million over the next year to ease some of the immediate challenges facing the GP workforce. We will also continue our work with the profession to negotiate a new GP contract for 2017, which will be instrumental in delivering our shared vision for the future of GP services.”
Added Kenneth Gibson:
“Scotland continues to have the highest number of GPs per patient in the UK with one GP for every 1,083 people, compared to one for every 1,338 in England, one for every 1,375 in Wales and one for every 1,445 in Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, we face challenges in the field of retaining medical professionals including GPs.
“Only last week I raised the issue of retention of young medics in the Parliament Chamber. It was reassuring to hear about the impending graduate programme for medicine in Scotland and this announcement again demonstrates the SNP Government’s commitment to recruiting and retaining medics in Scotland.
“I will be particularly interested in the impact the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative will have on the rural areas within North Ayrshire and look forward to working with all parties involved.”