Parliament inquiry seeks the public’s views on how they want front-line NHS care provided


A major new inquiry has been launched into the future of primary care in Scotland by MSPs on the Health and Sport Committee. The inquiry calls on people to outline their hopes for the next generation of care, using a specially designed survey.

Primary care is often the 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.

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 improve the way primary care is organised and delivered.

The Committee is looking for views on issues such as the key challenges to accessing services, whether the current system is sustainable and what areas of service delivery should be prioritised. The views collected will help shape the next phase of the inquiry, during which those responsible for designing and delivering services will be asked how they can deliver what the public wants.

Lewis Macdonald MSP, Convener of the Health and Sport Committee, said:

“Primary care is often people’s first point of contact with the NHS and the provision of these services affects every single person in Scotland at some point in their life. Undoubtedly, there is a need for the delivery of primary care to adapt and the Committee feels that this is the right time to take a comprehensive look at services in the primary care setting.

“At this important juncture for the next generation of care, the Committee wants to engage a nationwide debate 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 to hear from them.

“We will use people’s views to task the Scottish Government and health service providers to design and deliver care in the way people want it.”

The Committee wants to hear from people of all ages and backgrounds, and is particularly keen to hear from young people, people with complex care needs, people living in areas of socio-economic deprivation, and people living in remote and rural areas of Scotland.

Key topics in the survey include:

• views on the government vision for primary care
• the range of professionals included in the primary care team, and whether people would want to access them without going through their GP
• priorities for people in their experience of primary care – access to appointments and services, length of appointment etc
• the role of digital technology
• data sharing among health professionals
• satisfaction with services
• use of out of hours (NHS 24) services

You can give your views on the future of primary care here.

The survey closes on Thursday 30 April. To find out more about the inquiry go to the Scottish Parliament website:


The Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into primary care to establish how that care would look for the next generation, including staff recruitment and retention. Members agreed the first phase of this inquiry would seek the views of people across Scotland on how and when they would like to receive care.

The survey closes on 30 April.

You can learn more about the work of the Health and Sport Committee on the Scottish Parliament website.

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