Scotland continues to have more GPs per head of population than any other part of the UK and the number of GPs has remained constant. The number of GPs in Scotland has remained at around 4 900 since 2008.
The latest figures for the number of GPs in the UK are:
- 41 985 GPs in England – last published in Sept 2016
- 4 953 GPs in Scotland (does not include locums) – last published Jan 2017 (350 locums in 2015)
- 2 887 GPs in Wales (includes 634 locums) – last published 30 Mar 2016
- 1 274 GPs in Northern Ireland (does not include locums) – last published Oct 2015
The number of locums in Scotland in 2015 was 350.
So, the ratio of GPs to overall population is:
- England 1 GP for every 1262 people
- Scotland 1 GP for every 999 people
- Wales 1 GP for every 1060 people
- N Ireland 1 GP for every 1421 people
The number of GP practices is:
- 7 613 in England – last published in Sept 2016
- 958 in Scotland – last published Jan 2017
- 454 in Wales – last published 30 Mar 2016
- 349 in Northern Ireland – last published Oct 2015
The number of practices is a less meaningful statistic than the number of GPs per capita as these vary in size considerably but the number, nevertheless, could give an indication of access in terms of geography.
The ratio of practices to overall population is:
- England 1 practice for every 6962 people
- Scotland 1 practice for every 5532 people
- Wales 1 practice for every 6746 people
- N Ireland 1 practice for every 5189 people
The relatively large number of practices in Northern Ireland, despite having the worst ratio of GPs to population might suggest a tendency only for smaller practices there. In contrast, Scotland having the best ratio of GPs to population along with a relatively high number of practices suggest better geographical access.
Above figures are from the BMA’s General practice in the UK – background briefing 2017
This information can, of course, be added to that suggesting that Scotland also has a significantly higher number of nurses per capita. See:
As the Herald attempts to worry us with 0.58% of nurses planning to work abroad, official statistics show NHS Scotland has many more nurses per head of population than crisis-ridden NHS England, after 10 years of SNP administration.