What does primary care look like for the next generation?


About the Inquiry

Primary Care is generally the first point of contact with the NHS (except for Accident and Emergency) for most people in Scotland when they need to access healthcare. This includes contact with many community based services and healthcare professionals as well as also a number of non-clinical roles such as practice receptionists and managers and community links workers.

Primary care areas displayed as a jigsaw

In 2015, the Scottish Government produced the National Clinical Strategy for Scotland. It was developed to look at how Healthcare needs to adapt to keep up with a growing and evolving population, huge changes in technology and the integration of Health and Social Care services across the country in the long term.

The Scottish Government's vision for the future of primary care services is for multi-disciplinary teams, made up of a variety of health professionals working together to support people in their community and give GPs more time to spend with patients in specific need of their expertise.

In line with its 2020 vision, the Scottish Government is working to transform primary care so healthcare professionals can work in new ways that will better meet changing needs and demands and allow for sustainable primary care services: 

Illustration of the primary care principles

Primary Care Transformation is about modernising primary care to deliver a safe, effective and person-centred healthcare service. It focuses on multidisciplinary team working to reduce pressures on services. It also aims to ensure better outcomes for patients with access to the right professional, at the right time, as near to home as possible.

Committee approach

The Health and Sport Committee have agreed to run an inquiry looking at the future of Primary Care in Scotland. The Committee want to hear your views on this key question:  

What does primary care look like for the next generation? 

Part One  March - June 2019: Your views 

The first part of the inquiry will focus on gathering views and experiences mostly from the public and especially people who use primary care services across Scotland. We want people to tell us what they think primary care should look like to best serve their needs, how it can be accessible for all and also how the reality of cost impact can be managed. 

Illustration of the survey

How to have a say?

Primary Care public survey

Tell us what you think of current services and how they can be improved and sustained in the future by filling in this survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/parliamentscotprimary-nhs-care-survey/

You can also download a text-only Word version of the document:

If you are unable to complete the survey online, you can call Public Information and staff will ask you the survey questions and fill it in for you.  You can call Public Information on 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5000. (The service is available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday).  Calls are also welcome through the Text Relay service and in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

The deadline is 30 April 2019.  If you need further assistance with the survey, please contact David Cullum, Clerk, Health and Sport Committee via telephone (0131 348 5210) or email HealthandSport@parliament.scot

Public Panels 

Alongside the survey, three public panels are to be recruited to discuss issues similar to those in the survey.  Each panel will contain up to 15 people recruited to meet a range of criteria including age, gender and socio-economic background.   

The panel gatherings will be located in the North, East and West of Scotland (Inverurie, Dunfermline and Cambuslang, Glasgow), which reflects how Regional Health Boards are organised in Scotland. They will have informed discussions and make recommendations to the Committee on what they think is the way forward.

The panels, consisting of individuals drawn from the local area who have been randomly identified as covering a broad representation of the local community will provide their views and ideas as to what primary health should look like for the next generation.  Each panel will meet on two Saturdays to consider and agree their recommendations to the Committee.

The results of the survey together with the deliberations of the three panels will inform a report by the Committee on Part One.

Part Two  September 2019 onwards:  Written submissions and evidence sessions

The second part of the inquiry is likely to be more like a “traditional” Parliamentary inquiry driven by the views of service users from the activities in Part One. 

A report on the findings of Part One will be published and people will be invited to make written submissions to comment on those findings. There will then be evidence sessions with health professionals and representatives of professional bodies coming as expert witnesses. 

You can find out more about how Committee sessions work here: https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/committees.aspx

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