Lewis Macdonald MSP on primary care

Inquiry looks to the future of frontline NHS care

Friday 5th April 2019

The Health and Sport Committee are undertaking a major new inquiry into the future of primary care in Scotland, writes the committee's chair, Lewis MacDonald MSP.

Primary care is often our first point of contact with the NHS, whether that’s GPs in the local surgery, community nurses or midwives, physiotherapists or occupational therapists, dentists, opticians or pharmacists.

In recent years there has been increased pressure on primary care. Driven by patients’ changing needs, technological advancements, as well as cost and staffing pressures, there is now a need to consider  the way primary care is organised and delivered. There is also a determination that people spend less time in hospital, and that more tailored care is delivered in the community by the most appropriate professionals.

Our inquiry calls on people to outline their hopes for the next generation of primary care, using a specially designed survey which can be accessed below. The survey is looking for views on issues such as the key challenges to accessing services, whether the current system is sustainable and how well people understand why the Government thinks changes are needed in primary care.

The Committee wants to add to a nationwide debate that has already started, into what that care should look like and how it should be accessed and delivered. Regardless of whether people have used these services or not, we want your views.

We want to hear from people of all ages and backgrounds, and we are particularly keen to hear from young people, people with complex care needs, , and people living in remote and rural areas of Scotland.

The views collected will help shape the next phase of the inquiry, alongside some focused work with groups of individuals who will be selected to be as representative of the population as far as is possible.

During the second phase the views and insights gathered from the survey and public panels will shape what the Committee will ask those responsible for designing and delivering services how they can deliver care in the way people want it. 

The deadline for completion is 30 April 2019 and I encourage everybody to give us their views. 

The survey can be accessed here.