Putting general practice and primary care at the heart of the healthcare system

Scotland is a progressive nation built on dynamism and creativity. For a small country, we’ve made a very big impact and we continue to progress and pioneer. Our warmth and generosity is renowned around the world, as well as our driving determination. Scotland is a welcoming place, where people from all over the world choose to make their home with communities that still look out for one another.

Our vision

This is an exciting time to work in general practice in Scotland.

Primary Care reform is gathering pace in Scotland as we continue to shift the balance of care into the community. A cornerstone of this is the recent Scottish GP contract which develops the role of our GPs as the Expert Medical Generalist who with the help of new multidisciplinary teams will be able to spend more time with patients in specific need of their expertise. We see you, the GP, providing leadership to the new MDT; coordinating care and having time to concentrate on those with the most complex medical problems.

We value what matters to you. Continuity of care, community, feeling connected, collaboration, being curious and open to new learning, as well as having a work life balance. Our vision for primary care is for enhanced and expanded multi-disciplinary community care teams delivering person centred care and improving outcomes for individuals and local communities.

The Scottish Government is already supporting the transformation of Primary Care to develop new ways of working that will help put in place long-term, sustainable change within primary care services that can better meet changing needs and demands.

We recognise that GPs are looking for careers as diverse as our communities across Scotland – urban, rural, tackling inequalities, working across both in and out-of-hours and developing extended skills as an Expert Medical Generalist. From your first 5 years to your last 5 years as a GP, Scotland can offer either more traditional or portfolio careers which offer challenge and fulfillment.

Expanding the Primary Care workforce

The new GMS contract is expanding the Primary Care workforce with a refocusing of both clinical and administrative roles.

Integrated community nursing and social care teams will play a key role in planning, managing and monitoring people with more complex health and care needs. GPs are recognised as Expert Medical Generalists, the senior community clinical decision makers who will focus on:

  • undifferentiated presentations;
  • complex care in the community;
  • whole system quality improvement and clinical leadership.

As Expert Medical Generalists, GPs will coordinate patient care between the enhanced primary care team, health and social care community services and acute hospital services. Significant primary care investment is allowing the expansion of practice teams to include the addition of nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physiotherapists, mental health workers and paramedics to support the delivery of care; ensuring greater access to the righ

Quality Clusters

GP Clusters replaced the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) in 2015 as the mechanism to drive quality improvement across primary care. Clusters are composed of Practice Quality Leads (one per practice), who have direct involvement and influence in improving the quality of all health and social care services within their locality. With dedicated time and funding, they play a key role in shaping services and quality planning, based on population needs.

Realistic Medicine

To deliver this modernised health care system, NHS Scotland has committed to the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) vision of “Realistic Medicine”; putting the person receiving health and care at the centre of decision-making and encouraging a personalised approach to their care. Its aims of reducing harm and waste, tackling unwarranted variation in care, managing clinical risk, and innovating to improve, are essential to a well-functioning and sustainable NHS. The CMO has stated that by 2025 all health care professionals will deliver care aligned to these principles. To achieve this ambition it is important we examine how and where we educate the health professionals of our future.



Dr Malcolm Wright

Dr Malcolm Wright
Director-General for Health and Social Care and Chief Executive of NHS Scotland

"General Practice, at the heart of an enhanced Primary Care service, is the foundation of the NHS in Scotland. Having listened to primary care professionals, patients and many others we have a clear plan to transform primary and social care in Scotland. The person receiving health and care will be at the centre of decision making, encouraging a personalised approach to their care."

Dr Gregor Smith

Dr Gregor Smith
Deputy CMO Scotland

"In Scotland, we’re committed to Realistic Medicine, which puts the person receiving health and care at the centre of decision-making and encourages a personalised approach to their care. Its aims of reducing harm and waste, tackling unwarranted variation in care, managing clinical risk, and innovation are essential to a well functioning and sustainable NHS. These are aims which are drawn from the essence of modern general practice and I’m delighted that GPs continue to show so much support for our ambitions here. With the new contract supporting these aims, I’m very optimistic for the future of general practice here in Scotland."

We want you

Could you help us as we strive to modernise our Primary Care services to deliver a safe, effective and person-centred healthcare service? Do you want to work in a system that values GPs and primary care? 

Primary Care in Scotland is changing and we want you to be a part of it.

If you have any questions about the opportunities available or would like to discuss living and working as a GP in Scotland in more detail please do not hesitate to contact:

Dr Michelle Watts
07557 848717

Dr Charlie Siderfin
07900 405964

Alternatively browse this site for more detailed information on the different roles, the education and training support that is available, an overview
of the different Health Boards and regions of Scotland and a selection of jobs that are available.