General practice and community mental health services in Scotland will receive £14 million in 2016/17 to improve access for patients, the Scottish Government has announced.
Of this amount, £9.5 million will be used to help deliver projects across Scotland that will trial new ways of delivering health care in the community, and £3.5 million will be invested in local initiatives to improve support for patients with mental health conditions in primary care settings.
‘We are committed to supporting and developing local GP and primary care services,’ said Scottish health secretary Shona Robison. ‘What is clear is that the existing model of delivering these services is no longer sustainable and we need to act now to redesign the way care is provided in the community. That means increasing the role that other health professionals play in delivering primary care – making it much more of a team approach and enabling GPs to focus on those patients specifically in need of their care.
According to the Scottish Government, the funding will encourage general practices to take a multi-disciplinary approach to community. This will involve health professionals such as advanced nurse practitioners, mental health professionals and pharmacists, in order to free up GPs to focus on more complex cases and provide clinical leadership.
‘This fund will allow us to test and evaluate what works in individual communities, with a view to spreading out the most successful models of care across Scotland,’ added Ms Robison.