Scottish Labour have warned that GP shortages are creating “chaos” as the number of GPs in out of hours services plummets. A new report has revealed that the number of GPs working in Primary Care Out of Hours services in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde dropped by over a quarter between 2019 and 2022. Scotland wide, that number dropped by around one fifth. The out of hours GP headcount fell by 119, or 27 per cent in that time, while the WTE figures dropped by 10.9.
The report warned that “eight NHS Boards had to take additional action at least weekly to ensure shifts are filled”, such as extending shifts or having nurses cover GP shifts. This follows news that the total number of WTE GPs in Scotland fell by 119 between 2019 and 2022 despite rising patient numbers.
Commenting, Scottish Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP said
“The SNP have slashed primary care budgets and broken their promises on GP numbers. People in Glasgow are paying the price.
“We have lost more than one quarter of our Out of Hours GPs over the past three years, and communities right across the region are finding it harder to get appointments when they need them.
“They are often forced to turn to A+E instead, but that’s not what they need, and that’s in crisis too.
“This total mismanagement of the NHS by the SNP risks a real human cost – if people aren’t getting the medical attention they need, where they need it and when, they might end up with missed or delayed diagnosis. That’s unacceptable.
“It’s vital we get the health service back on track, and that starts by putting in place a Health Secretary that is both willing and able to tackle this chaos.”
Notes to Editors