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Scotland’s GP leader blasts extended nursing hours funding

25 June 2008

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The Scottish public health minister’s announcement that extra funding has been allocated for nursing care during extended hours will fuel GPs’ anger further, the chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GPC, Dr Dean Marshall, has said.

“This arrangement has not been agreed with Scotland’s GPs who employ practice nurses,” said Dr Marshall (pictured).

“GPs have already expressed their anger at how the Scottish government has sought to implement extended hours, and this new arrangement for practice nurses will simply fuel that anger further.

“Many of our staff work in general practice because the hours fit with their family commitments and it is unlikely that practice nurses will be more inclined to work evenings and weekends under this scheme.”

Referring to a new survey report from NCH Scotland, Hear Our Voice, in which nearly one in five Scottish children said reducing poverty should be the top priority for the Scottish Parliament, Dr Marshall said:

“Only today, children expressed their concerns about living in poverty – surely it would be more responsible for our government to invest scarce NHS resources into tackling the health inequalities that exist in Scotland? This would deliver much better health outcomes.”

Dr Marshall added: “Scotland’s GPs believe that it is inappropriate to direct further NHS funding towards extended hours in preference to more pressing health needs.

“We still maintain that if the Scottish government had negotiated an arrangement for improved access for patients, we could have created a more flexible approach to delivering extended hours that had the backing of GPs rather than this piecemeal approach that few GPs to date have signed up to.”

BMA Scotland