Date lodged: 21 July 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how many vacant GP positions there are, broken down by NHS board area.
Answered by: Shona Robison 9 August 2016
Numbers of vacancies for GP posts are not held centrally as this is a matter for individual independent GP contractors as employers. However, as part of the move towards better quality, more regular, and more consistent information, a workforce survey was published on 14 June 2016.One in five (22%) responding GP practices reported current GP vacancies at 31 August 2015. This is an increase from 9% of practices reporting current vacancies in 2013. In 2015, half of the vacancies reported had been vacant for over 6 months.In Scotland we are transforming primary care, supported by £85 million of extra investment to put in place long-term, sustainable change within GP services that can better meet changing needs and demands. We have also pledged to increase GP training places for medical students from 300 to 400 a year and are expanding schemes to encourage trained GPs to return to practice in the NHS. We are working closely with the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal College of GPs to reduce workload, including our pioneering agreement to abolish the bureaucratic system of GP payments, and work towards a new Scottish GP contract from 2017. A £20 million package to support GPs will also help ease pressures on workload in the short term, and contribute to putting general practice on a more long-term sustainable footing.