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5 May 2017

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Election plea to support rural dispensing practices

The Dispensing Doctor Association (DDA) has launched its 2017 general election manifesto, asking for all parties to protect rural dispensing practices.

The association is calling on election candidates in each of the devolved nations to:

  • Protect the unique rural GP one-stop-shop service that improves people’s access to scarce healthcare resource;
  • Recognise that rural medical practices are the hub of their local communities, offering traditional family doctor GP services, creating skilled jobs for local people, and reducing social isolation;
  • Lobby for urgent improvements to the rural infrastructure, particularly, public transport and broadband;
  • Support the call for an updated rural NHS funding formula that recognises the increased costs of delivering a robust and resilient health service in rural areas, and;
  • Recognise that dispensing income is vital for the sustainability of high quality rural general practices.

The DDA, which represents over 6,600 doctors across 1,200 dispensing practices, will produce specific manifestos for Scotland and Wales next week.

An ‘excellent and cost-effective’ model

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DDA chairman Dr Richard West said that the current model of dispensing GP practice is proven as the ‘most cost effective’ solution to delivering rural health services.

It is popular with patients and it has been shown by the regulator to ‘deliver safer, more effective, more caring and responsive services, with better quality leadership,’ he said.

‘Please ensure that any policy to restructure GP services does not damage the excellent and cost-effective service model already available in rural areas,’ Dr West asked of all candidates.

The association has provided resources for practices to promote their manifesto on their website.

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