Macdonald backs Labour’s “Fit for the Future” consultation

North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald is backing a major consultation for Scotland’s family doctors to tackle the crisis in Scottish general practice.

Scottish Labour has launched “Fit for the future.’ The party will contact Scottish GPs asking for their opinions on a range of ideas including:

· Training more GPs

· Cutting down red tape for substitute GPs.

· Ensure practices notify Health Boards on unfilled posts.

The consultation document was written by Dr Richard Simpson, Labour’s Public Services Spokesperson and a former GP and psychiatrist with over 30 years experience.

Lewis Macdonald will write to local GPs in Aberdeen and the North East urging them to make submissions to the consultation, and is calling on constituents to come forward with their ideas and experiences of their community surgeries.

The move comes after a summer where the crisis in general practice has been made clear, with a £1 billion drop in investment in the past ten years, cuts to medical student numbers and GP vacancies lying unfilled.

Lewis Macdonald said :

“Labour is talking about better plans and better ideas, and we are putting them to the people who matter – family doctors themselves. We think our plans can make a real difference to general practice in Scotland, and benefit patients across the country.”

“We’ve seen a range of problems across NHS Grampian, not least the closure of the Brimmond Medical Group GP surgery this month. The closure is a direct result of a shortage of doctors, and those surgeries which are due to take on Brimmond’s patients will only be able to do so if they can recruit more GPs themselves.

“Recruiting and retaining medical staff is a problem in Aberdeen and across the North East and we need to find a solution. Scottish Labour’s “Fit for the Future” consultation will allow local GPs to feed in their experiences and their suggestions.

“The Scottish Government has made a complete and utter mess of general practice in Scotland. It was their decision to drop the share of funding for general practice in Scotland by over £1 billion and their decision to cut funding for medical students. The result has been understaffed overstretched practices with patients’ not receiving timely care.

“However if we act now we can fix these problems. Scottish Labour are taking ideas to the Scottish medical community for our plans. It is then a matter for the SNP Government if they want to look at Scottish Labour’s positive plans, or simply continue to sit on their hands."



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