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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13305: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government when it expects GPs' workload to be reduced nationally, and what its response is to reports that recent recruitment drives have had poor outcomes.

Answered by: Shona Robison 8 January 2018

The GP Recruitment and Retention programme has successfully delivered more GPs and builds on a wide range of initiatives that encourage GPs to enter and remain in the profession - for example, the ground-breaking Scottish rural medicine collaborative involving 10 rural NHS boards, continued support for doctors returning to GP practice and developing a new national recruitment website.

The new GP contract, if accepted, will ensure GPs can spend more time with patients and less time on bureaucracy. If accepted, it will help cut doctors’ workload and make general practice an even more attractive career choice for young doctors.

The priority will be on the wider development of the multi-disciplinary team to free up GP's workload. This will be done over a 3 year transitional period from 2018-21.

We have recently announced the commitment to increasing the number of GPs by at least 800 over ten years to ensure a sustainable service that meets increasing demand on our services. Our strategy to recruit and retain our existing GPs will be set out in part 3 of the national health and social care workforce plan to be published early next year.