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Free Occupational Health Service for GPs and Practice Staff

From 31st October 2016, a new scheme to support occupational health of GPs and other primary care staff has come into force across Scotland.

The new scheme means that everyone who works for a GP practice, including doctors, in Scotland will now have free access to their local health boards' occupational health services. The new scheme has received £920,000 of funding and the funding will be provided on a recurring basis from this year onwards.

Earlier this year, Shona Robison, Scottish health secretary made the commitment to the British Medical Association (BMA), in recognition of the contribution that primary care staff made to the health service of Scotland.

Ms Shona Robison said that general practice is a highly valued part of the healthcare system in Scotland. So, NHS wants General practice to be the profession of choice for many young doctors.

She further added that the new funding scheme will be able to benefit GP practice staff from more effective occupational health. The scheme will also help NHS to create a more sustainable workforce in the long-term.

NHS Scotland’s occupational health service will help staff with issues like:

  • Returning to work after illness
  • Posture
  • Back pain
  • Workplace assessments
  • Recovering from injuries

General practice employees will be able to access a range of specialists including physiotherapists, consultants, occupational health nurse practitioners and specialist registrars.

The chair of the BMA Scottish GP committee, Dr Alan McDevitt, said the actions that provide continued support to practices are very welcome. He is delighted that the government of Scotland has committed funding to make sure that all staff will have free access to the occupational health service.

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