Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Scottish Government don’t have figures on GPs not currently working

Liz Smith, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.
Liz Smith, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife.

The Scottish Government does not know how many GPs are registered to work but are not currently doing so.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith asked health minister Shona Robison whether the government had a figure on the number of GPs registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) not currently practising.

The Scottish Conservative representative said waiting times for appointments to see a doctor were on the rise across swathes of Tayside and Fife.

A recent NHS Scotland survey on primary care in Scotland noted there had been a “slight” decrease in the number of whole-time-equivalent GPs working in Scotland.

Ms Smith said it was “scandalous” the government did not have the data, but Shona Robison told The Courier it would be “very difficult” to collect figures which could be used in a “meaningful” way to influence policy.

Liz Smith said: “At a time when our GP services are stretched to the edges you would hope that the Scottish Government would have some idea of the number of GPs that are registered but not practising.

“Enticing more of these people back to the profession, whether it be those who have left to start a family or those on a career break, will be crucial if we are to plug the gaps in general practice.

“It is scandalous that the Scottish Government does not have these figures to hand and I have called on Shona Robison to provide them in the future.

“Waiting times for an appointment are on the rise across the country and this is felt keenly in Perth and Kinross, Fife, Stirling and Clackmannanshire.

“It is high time that the Scottish Government got to the bottom of our GP crisis and that starts with having the correct data to hand.”

Shona Robison highlighted the Scottish Government were investing an extra £500 million over the course of parliament in to primary care.

She said: “There are a wide variety of reasons why qualified GPs might choose to leave the profession or stop practicing for a period of time.

“It would be very difficult to collect accurate data on this that could make any meaningful contribution to policy development. However, we are working hard to support GPs and improve our primary care services. We are significantly increasing the amount of investment going into primary care—– an extra £500 million by the end of this Parliament.

“We also recently signed a landmark agreement with the GP profession that is the foundation of a strong partnership between the Scottish Government and the GP profession that will help us to improve and redesign the way health services are provided in the community for the benefit of patients all across Scotland.”

There were 90 fewer GPs working full-time across the country in 2015 than in 2013, according to the NHS Scotland report which was published in June 2016.

Already a subscriber? Sign in