Have your say on the future of primary health care

Lewis Macdonald MSP, convener of the Health and Sport Committee. Pic – Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

Lewis Macdonald, MSP for North East Scotland and Convener of the Health & Sport Committee, has issued an open invitation for people to share their views about the future of primary health care in Scotland.

“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”, says Mr Macdonald.

“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. Our 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 survey can be accessed here, and a text-only Word version of the document can be downloaded from: PrimaryCareSurvey_Word_Version_TextOnly.docx

Anybody unable to complete the survey online can call Parliament staff, who will ask the survey questions and fill the survey in on the caller’s behalf. To use this service: call Public Information on 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5000 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.  Calls are also welcome through the Text Relay service and in British Sign Language through contactSCOTLAND-BSL

The deadline for completion is 30 April 2019.