The GP contract in Scotland will see a general trend of doctors being less involved in vaccinations for children.
And the current pay stability deal will be extended to April 2018, meaning that the full new Scottish GMS contract will not take effect until April next year.
The GPC and Scottish government have stated that rather than being a major revolution, there will instead be a gradual shift towards relieving GP workloads and increasing funding for primary care.
All parties involved have agreed that there will be a “full review of all aspects of GP pay and expenses that will take place in 2017, and inform options from 2018. To allow this work to take place we are therefore extending the current pay stability agreement to April 2018,” a collective statement noted.
The statement also outlined that there will be a regular “review of current GMS services with a view, where appropriate, to transfer responsibility for those services to the wider healthcare system”.
Scottish GPC chair Dr Alan McDevitt indicated that the authorities are currently assessing ways to reduce GP workload, and indeed childhood and travel vaccinations will be part of this assessment.
The plan is for such activity to instead be carried out elsewhere, probably by nurses.
This follows the move already to remove QOF, with the intention of reducing bureaucracy in GP consultations.
Dr McDevitt outlined some of the alterations to the way that GP contracts will operate in Scotland in the next 18 months.
“We will introduce a number of changes to the contract from October 2017. We will also be looking to transfer services without losing income associated with it. To begin with we are looking at childhood vaccinations and travel advice and vaccination. Obviously that is quite a complex thing, getting someone else to provide it, and so that will take quite a bit of organising. But we intend to start that happening in 2017, and there will be no loss of income to practices which are no longer doing that”.
Scottish health secretary Shona Robison emphasised that the government will do all that it can to make life easier for doctors in the Scottish healthcare system.
“We are shifting the balance of care away from hospitals and into the community, and GPs have a vital role to play in working with us to make it happen. For our part we will work to improve the attractiveness of general practice as a career, with action on workloads, and steps to create a more sustainable workforce”.
The Scottish government recently outlined plans to invest an additional £500 million in general practice by the end of the decade.