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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-00268: Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 26 May 2016

To ask the Scottish Government how it is working with NHS Grampian to recruit GPs in Aberdeenshire.

Answered by: Shona Robison 9 June 2016

Recruitment of staff, including doctors, is a matter for each NHSScotland board as an employer. NHSScotland boards are required to have the correct staff in place to meet the needs of the service and ensure high quality patient care. The Scottish Government work closely with all boards to support their staff recruitment efforts and our investment in primary care has seen the number of GPs across the country increase by seven per cent under this government.

We are continuing to work with health boards and the medical profession to develop short-term recruitment initiatives as we look to develop more attractive medical career pathways. The British Medical Association is a key partner in this work.

In addition, we are continuously examining steps to boost recruitment and increase retention – including a returners’ package run by NHS National Education Scotland, and by providing additional funding to practices for population growth every year.

We are investing £2.5 million in a GP recruitment and retention programme to explore with key stakeholders, the issues surrounding GP recruitment and retention. The three-year programme will examine and take forward proposals to increase the number of medical students choosing to go into GP training. All health boards were invited to submit bids for this funding.

The health board has already begun work to address existing issues and we will be expecting them to engage closely with GPs and the local community as they begin to develop sustainable, ‘future-proofed’ primary care services.