The committee of SDPO group feel that our main focus at this time should be:
- To lobby Scottish Government for fair and reasonable treatment of NHS providers during and after the current crisis.
- To challenge Scottish Government when we believe they have not acted reasonably.
- To promote the development and implementation of a better model for NHS GDS in Scotland, in consultation with the profession.
Most practice owners in Scotland have some involvement in NHS GDS, albeit to different extents. The terms applicable to NHS GDS are determined solely by Scottish Government.
The current NHS GDS terms and the lack of reasonable engagement with the profession by Scottish Government are unsatisfactory and threaten the sustainability of the service.
We believe we must address this situation using all means at our disposal. We will continue to:
- poll our members on key issues to establish the collective position
- raise the concerns of our members by writing to the CDO, Health Boards and MSPs
- issue Press Releases and work with the media when appropriate
We will also explore legal options which might help protect the interests of NHS providers.
At present we are particularly concerned about:
- changes to the contract (SDR) without reasonable consultation
- inequalities in the financial support measures
- the decision to subtract fees earned under SDR 143, before the lockdown, from support payments
- the reintroduction of NHS treatments but with zero fees
Preliminary legal advice suggests these policies could be challenged through the courts.
Legal action will be expensive and would need financed via a crowd funding campaign.
The potential benefits to the profession now and in the future could be significant.
Practice owners are key stakeholders in the delivery of NHS GDS. We continue to believe that there is strength in unity, and we hope that practice owners across the country will continue to support the group for the betterment of our profession and the public.
We will run a poll seeking endorsement of the position set out in this manifesto. We will subsequently require members to indicate their willingness to contribute to legal costs, as described above.