No GP Crisis in Scotland but..

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I do hesitate to make these comparisons between NHS Scotland and NHS England as they always go one way and I then start to feel a bit uncomfortable. However, if I want to talk-up NHS Scotland in a defence against our Loyalist media bias, it’s the only readily available comparator with a Tory government to blame for it all.

Anyhow, the Guardian piece above, does carefully and unusually, state that this is about only England, based on NHS England research.

So dear reader, how do you think things are in Scotland? Could be better, but health provision like education or policing is infinitely improvable and so could always be better. What is clear though is that there is no crisis in general practice in Scotland.

1. 93% of Scots can get an appointment in two days!

From research published in the Scotsman on 25th April 2018:

‘More encouragingly, it also found 87 per cent of people found it easy to contact their GP practice, while more than nine out ten (93 per cent) were able to get an appointment within two days.’

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/fewer-patients-reporting-positive-gp-experiences-says-survey-1-4729842

2. GP vacancies in Scotland are only just over one-third of the level in England

Based on a survey by the GP magazine on 6th July 2018, Pulse, the Independent reported today:

‘GP vacancies (in England) rise to record levels despite recruitment pledge, survey suggests. Long patient waits and unsafe, rushed appointments are unlikely to end any time soon as vacancies have risen from 9.1 per cent to 15.3 per cent since the (UK) government pledged 5 000 more doctors.’

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/gp-vacancy-nhs-70-doctors-waiting-times-appointments-patient-safety-a8433596.html

In sharp contrast, the GP vacancy rate in Scotland was only 5.6% at the end of 2017.

http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/General-Practice/Publications/2018-03-06/2018-03-06-PCWS2017-Report.pdf

3. There are significantly more GPs per head of population in Scotland

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

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

4. The Scottish Government is taking steps to ensure there are more GPs, and doctors in general, coming through the system.

 

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6 thoughts on “No GP Crisis in Scotland but..

  1. Alasdair Macdonald December 7, 2018 / 9:31 am

    Given the Nomedia attachment to big numbers presented without context, I can see them headlining the ‘7% of Scots cannot get a GP interview within 2 days’ as ‘Nearly 400 000 Scots cannot get GP interview within 2 days!!’ This is 7% of an estimated 5.5 million population and then rounding up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom Crozier December 8, 2018 / 11:11 am

    May I suggest we should always refer to Scottish Health Service(SHS) to emphasize that here we do not have the English Health Service (NHS) here

    Like

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