Labour’s Neil Findlay exposes increased GP staffing across almost all of Scotland


I’m sure we are all grateful for the above parliamentary question enabling us to see that, since the first SNP government, GP numbers have risen steadily in all but 5 of the very smallest of Scotland’s 14 health boards. Note that in the challenging recruitment areas such as Borders and Grampian, GP staffing has gone up and that in Highland and Shetland, the fall has been too small to indicate any significant trend. Notably it has been in two constituencies with relatively high-profile Conservative and Lib-Dem leadership, Dumfries & Galloway and Orkney, that we see major problems. You have to wonder what, after decades of control, David Mundell and Liam McArthur have been doing with their time when they could have been working to use their cultural capital to persuade GPs to settle in these places.

Readers will know that there has been other evidence of success in SNP management of the GP population. For a wee reminder, see:

Why did BBC Breakfast pretend GP staffing figures for Scotland are not available?

Big increase in number of women GPs is excellent news for Scotland

No GP Crisis in Scotland but..

Report of GP staffing crisis in England appears before Scottish media can fake equivalent story

Scottish GP vacancy rate now only one -third of that in non-Scottish parts of UK

In the Scotsman today, 93% of Scottish patients get appointment with GP within 2 days!

Lib Dems feed STV with dubious tale of GPs working too many hours

Scottish GP Contract rated ‘far superior’ by BMA, introduced today, to strengthen patient care

Scottish GPs agree to new contract by 71.5%. Did the 5% wasted forms have willies drawn on them?

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

SNP act to maintain Scotland’s competitive advantage in GP staffing and satisfaction

Scottish Government funds new initiative to reduce planned waiting times in the wake of BMA praise for its new GP contract and illustrating what the Nuffield Trust called ‘a unique system of improving the quality of health care.’

New Scottish GP contract rated far superior, by BMA, to English equivalent as Scottish GP numbers hold steady and NHS England loses 1 000 in one year!

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

SNP Government invests £2.5million so that GPs have more time with patients

SNP Government to invest £71.6 million to improve on what is already the best-staffed and the most contented primary care system (GPs) in the UK and perhaps beyond



4 thoughts on “Labour’s Neil Findlay exposes increased GP staffing across almost all of Scotland

  1. Alasdair Macdonald February 22, 2019 / 11:04 am

    Of course, the BBC will focus on the 20/25% falls in D&G and in the Western Isles and ignore the increases in the rest of Scotland, WHERE ALMOST ALL OF THE POPULATION LIVES!

    If the economies of areas like these two were changed from a few large owners, such as Buccleuch Estates, by stronger Land Reform legislation (especially relating to second homes and holiday lettings), by social housebuilding, by a better provision of energy supplies by a fairer transmission cost system, by improving transport links and by extending high-speed internet connections, then there would be opportunities for young people to remain and build the population and this, in turn would attract social services providers like GPs, other health workers, teachers, etc.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Ludo Thierry February 22, 2019 / 5:24 pm

    Hi John – off topic but just updating some info on the IEA ‘think tank’ beloved of so many of Neil Findlay’s Better Together and brexiteer chummies.(You provided some rather useful observations re. the IEA in an article a day or two back).

    Peter Geoghegan/Jenna Corderoy at Open Democracy did a wee exposee on IEA v. recently – short and interesting: Link and snippets below: Seems like the IEA are digging themselves into trouble with The Charity Commissioners – let’s hope something finally comes of it:

    Singham’s Brexit work has not escaped the scrutiny of regulators. The Charity Commission’s formal warning in February stated that the IEA’s alternative to May’s white paper, ‘Plan A+: Creating a Prosperous Post-Brexit UK’ – which Singham co-wrote – breached charity law by calling for Brexit to be used to deregulate finance, weaken rules on hazardous chemicals and remove rules protecting agency workers. The regulator said that the IEA risked being seen as “politically biased” after Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Davis and other pro-Brexit Tories attended the report’s launch. The charities watchdog is still investigating the IEA.

    This was not the first time that Singham has been rapped over the knuckles. Last May the Charity Commission found that a Brexit paper he wrote in his previous role as trade advisor at the think tank Legatum had ‘crossed the line’ and did not meet its charitable objectives. That summer Singham was also forced to quit international trade secretary Fox’s ‘committee of experts’ after openDemocracy revealed that he had taken a job with a lobbying firm.

    But rules and regulations designed to ensure political transparency are easily circumvented.

    The Charity Commission forced the IEA to take down ‘Plan A+’ from its website but it is still available on the website of a political consultancy owned by Singham. When openDemocracy alerted the Charity Commission to this the watchdog said it had “issued the charity with a serious warning and expect the trustees to be cautious of any links to this publication”.


  3. Alasdair Macdonald February 22, 2019 / 5:37 pm

    The BBC radio Scotland News this evening has a health story about a woman in Highland who gave birth to twins in two locations 50 miles apart. She was in one hospital and there were complications so a decision was made to transfer her by road to Inverness. En route she began to have contractions and was taken to a nearby hospital where the first child was delivered. There was a breech complication but the child was unharmed.. After it was delivered it was decided that she should proceed to Inverness. The air ambulance was not able to assist and the journey continued to Inverness where the second child was delivered safely.

    This is a very unusual set of circumstances, but the children were delivered safely.

    It occurred several months ago and the BBC picked up the story from an on-line posting by the mother. It appears to be part of a campaign because consultants were withdrawn from the Caithness/Sutherland area and based solely in Inverness.

    Unless the economy of the Highland area is improved so that the population grows then specialist health services will have to be concentrated at a centre like Inverness so that there is not unjustifiably high costs for a relatively low population. In this specific case the children were delivered safely. The only real issue appears to be whether the air ambulance service ought to have been used from the start.


  4. bigjon999 February 22, 2019 / 5:45 pm

    Surely part of the Dumfries problem could be the influx of retirees making house prices unaffordable for young local GPs?

    Liked by 1 person

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