May 30, 2024

Number of GP practices drops in 12 out of 14 health boards in Scotland, new figures show

The number of GP practices has dropped in 12 out of 14 health boards in Scotland, new figures from the Lib Dems show.

New figures from the party indicate there are now 17 fewer practices in Glasgow, 16 fewer in Lanarkshire, 11 fewer in Grampian and eight fewer in the Highlands.

They estimate the number of patients per GP in the area has also gone up in 13 out of 14 health boards.

In Lanarkshire, each GP is now responsible for 2,201 patients. In Fife, they are responsible for 1,816. In Grampian they are responsible for 1,803.

Across Scotland, 79 practices, or almost 10% of the total, have formally closed their list to new patients.

That’s up from 19 practices in 2018.

The party also revealed at as many as one in five Scots say their mental health had been impacted by long GP and hospital waits.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: “The Scottish Government is driving local health services into the ground.

“Hundreds of thousands of Scots are finding it near-impossible to see their GP and waiting months for hospital treatment.

“Increasing numbers of GP practices are being forced to close their patient lists because they do not have sufficient resources to meet their patient needs.

“This is one of the biggest issues that comes up on doorsteps across the country and Scottish Liberal Democrats have a plan. We want to see more specialists in areas such as mental health and physiotherapy and swift access to care close to home.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scotland has a higher number of GPs per head than the rest of the UK, and a record 1,200 trainee GPs coming through the training system in Scotland.

“We are fully committed to increasing the number of GPs in Scotland and have invested over £1.2bn in General Medical Services in 2023-24 to ensure more people get the right care in the right place at the right time.”

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