Already the best staffed and least stressed in the UK, Scottish GPs to get better contracts



See this from

‘A new GP contract, jointly designed and agreed with the British Medical Association, will be the biggest reform of GPs services in over a decade. The proposals will ensure that all patients get the support they need from an extended community healthcare team – led by GPs and including nurses, physiotherapists, community mental health workers, paramedics, and pharmacists – to ensure more patients get the best and most appropriate care.’

I’m all for this. Having been a patient more often in recent times, I can see what they have to put up with. However, it’s important, I think, to remember that general practice in Scotland has been better staffed than in rUK for some time and that Scottish GPs seem to consider themselves less stressed and less overworked too.

First, Scotland has significantly more GPs per head of population:

Scotland –1 GP to 1083 people.

England – 1 GP to 1338 people.

Wales – 1 GP to 1375 people.

Northern Ireland – 1 GP to 1445 people

Second, Scottish GPs are the most satisfied with practising medicine:

Scotland – 80%

England – 65%

Wales – 67%

Northern Ireland – 71%

Third, fewer Scottish GPs work excessive hours than those in the rest of the UK (percentages):

                  England          Scotland         Wales              N Ireland

1-34                 22                    15                    20                    20

35-44               29                    34                    33                    34

44-54               28                    39                    32                    28

50 or over       21                    12                    15                    19

Fourth, Scottish doctors are the least stressed in the UK (percentages)

                 England          Scotland         Wales              N Ireland

Extremely       19                    7                      18                    15

Very                 43                    25                    37                    27

Somewhat       34                    57                    36                    47

Not too            3                      11                    8                      10

Not at all         1                      0                      1                      0


All of the above come from a rigorous academic study carried out by professional researchers, not interested parties like the BBC, BMA or RCGP, at the Commonwealth Institute (USA):

I had to make a special request for the breakdown of the UK figures.

The Commonwealth Institute also identified the NHS across the UK as superior to most other systems across the globe, especially that of Obama’s USA.

Add the new contract to the above and we can at least be satisfied with the Scottish Government’s clear lack of complacency.


2 thoughts on “Already the best staffed and least stressed in the UK, Scottish GPs to get better contracts

  1. Hugh Wallace November 15, 2017 / 10:51 am

    I try to avoid seeing GPs if at all possible but I’ve had to call on their services (as well as being hospitalised) several times in the last few years for one thing and another.

    For most of the last 15 years I had been living in Aberdeen and my local GP’s surgery appeared to be run superbly. There were a stable number of staff, most of whom had been there for years, and I never once had to wait for more than a week to see a GP (unless it was at my request) and, because when I did need to see one it was often an emergency, I always got an appointment to see one that day if I phoned up at 8am or so. There may have been times when I waited for longer than I wanted in the waiting room but that was always because the GP I was seeing was giving each patient (myself included) as much time as they could not rushing them through and barely listening to them. I really cannot fault the treatment I received one little bit.

    Just over a year ago we moved from darkest Aberdeen to deepest Renfrewshire. There is a GP’s surgery in my small village (with a practice covering several villages) and I understand they are struggling to hire permanent doctors so are making use of locums. As a patient I really wouldn’t know unless they told me. Ok, I don’t think I’ve seen the same doctor twice (not that I’ve asked to) but each time I’ve phoned up I have seen someone within a day or two and received good treatment and no sense of being rushed out the door to let the next patient be seen.

    If this is an NHS struggling to cope I can’t wait to see how an independent Scotland’s properly funded system might perform.


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