IT is disappointing that your paper has chosen what can only be described as an “anti-General Practitioner” stance (“Independence of GPs must end to safeguard local care”, October 5)

Scottish Government’s Health and Sport committee requested responses regarding the potential future of Primary Care in Scotland. A significant number were received from individuals and organisations who are currently involved with the delivery of General Practice across Scotland. I was involved in a number of them.

These responses documented various themes including long-term investment in communities, increasing time within Primary Care during medical school training, and General Practice being key to the future sustainability of the health service in Scotland.

However, the writer has disregarded these views, choosing a viewpoint that General Practitioners are profiteering and are a barrier to investment in community services.

This is based on one submission from an individual who has not worked within General Practice and has limited knowledge of the current issues.

The majority of General Practices in Scotland are run with the independent contractor model and are individual business with contracts from the Health Board.

GPs are responsible for the medical care provided, but also their staff, premises and all risks associated with running a small business.

This model has repeatedly been shown to be extremely flexible and cost effective, providing high quality clinical care, continuity and relationships with patients which are valued by the population of Scotland.

Practices across Scotland being run by Health Boards in a ‘salaried’ model cost between 50 per cent and 100 per cent more to run. Scotland faces significant issues of General Practice sustainability.

Escalating workload, increasing demand and business risks have resulted in unprecedented numbers of unfilled GP Partner posts and Practice closures.

The new GP Contract should address some of the issues cited as barriers to investment in General Practice and reduce risks to individuals of GP partnership.

But the blame for disinvestment in General Practice should not be placed at the GP’s door. The future sustainability of Scotland’s health service relies on having well- resourced, highly functioning primary care and community services.

We are striving to attract people to choose General Practice as a career. And why shouldn’t they?

The opportunity to develop relationships and deliver local care where it is most effective is surely what we want our clinicians to actively choose.

I am extremely proud to be a GP and know that those whom I work alongside in Glasgow and Scotland are extremely dedicated individuals who work long hours, dealing with complexities and challenges. They inspire me every day.

Might I suggest reflection on the choice of story and the potential impact that such articles can have on those professionals that we need to work in our communities, looking after us and our loved ones.

Dr Kerri Neylon


General Practitioner, 1600 Paisley Road West, Glasgow ;

Clinical Director, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership;

Primary Care Lead, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.