As anti-SNP media scrabble desperately for a crisis in NHS Scotland, GP numbers hold constant and access for patients remains far better than in any other part of the UK

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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.

https://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/General-Practice/Publications/2017-12-12/2017-12-12-GPWorkforce2017-Report.pdf?36372011900

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.

http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/General-Practice/Publications/2016-06-14/2016-06-14-PrimaryCareWorkforceSurveyScotland2015-Report.pdf

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.

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6 thoughts on “As anti-SNP media scrabble desperately for a crisis in NHS Scotland, GP numbers hold constant and access for patients remains far better than in any other part of the UK

  1. John Randall January 8, 2018 / 3:13 pm

    Thanks, John – very useful corrective to the continuing barrage of anti-SNP/Scottish Governmemt propaganda. As a new subscriber to your pieces, I would enter one general word of warning – one would expect Scotland to have higher ratios of nurses, GPs, teachers, etc to population because identifiable public expenditure per head is significantly higher in Scotland than in the UK as a whole. That is partly because of disproportionate need, and partly because Scottish geography raises the unit costs of supplying services, but it is probably also the case that Scotland has (at least in the past in the days of the Scottish Office) secured additional resources because of political pressure. In any case, higher identifiable public spending per head in Scotland is seen by many in England as ‘feather-bedding’ Scotland, and in the process of highlighting our relatively good ratios of public service personnel per head one does not want to put fuel on the fire of other prejudices!

    Like

    • Sam January 9, 2018 / 8:07 am

      Wouldn’t putting fuel on the fire of other prejudices lead to English pressure to get rid of the Subsidised Jocks?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clydebuilt January 9, 2018 / 1:10 pm

        Sam. That’s the way I see things. There’s no sense in being too feart. To talk up Scottish positives.

        Liked by 1 person

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