§ Sir Nicholas Fairbairn
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the effect of the introduction of the new general practitioner contract on general practitioners' incomes and the service offered to the public.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
In the first year of the new contract GPs average incomes have risen substantially.
Despite the reservations expressed by the profession there has been a positive and impressive response to the new contract which was designed to encourage and reward improved performance by GPs. It is already clear that the range of services offered to the public has expanded. In particular, the introduction of new target payments has proved very successful in helping to stimulate high levels achievement by practice teams; as at 1 April 1991 over 97 per cent of GPs in Scotland had achieved target levels for primary immunisation, over 88 per cent. for pre-school boosters and over 96 per cent. (excluding Greater Glasgow where comparable figures are not available) for cervical cytology. Where GPs undertake their own night visits, for example, or offer a wider range of services such as a minor surgery, health promotion or child health surveillance, this has been reflected in their income; during the year ended 31 March 1991 GPs in Scotland undertook over 76,000 minor surgery procedures and over 69,000 health promotion clinics. And most importantly of all, we are seeing high levels of patient satisfaction