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Rural GP posts vacant for two years

Freedom of Information Act request highlights the rural recruitment challenge

March 12th 2018

Tagged: Scotland Rurality

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Scottish Liberal Democrats have told the Scottish Government that is presiding over a GP crisis after new research uncovered posts vacant for two years and others advertised eight times without success.

Through freedom of information requests, the party has found:

A post vacant for 2 years in Forth Valley

  • A post vacant for 22 months in Dumfries and Galloway
  • A post vacant since July 2016 in Highland
  • Vacant posts advertised eight times in Shetland, each only receiving a single application during that time
  • A post advertised three times in Grampian without a single application.

The posts are in GP practices run directly by health boards.

This research was published to inform the results of the National Primary Care Workforce Survey.

The party’s health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP commented: “Just this week we saw another practice announce that it will end its contract. We are seeing GPs retiring, failed recruitment schemes, practices closing and others restricting access. It is already projected that we will be more than 850 GPs short by 2021 and it will be even worse if the Tories press ahead with a hard Brexit that will deprive our NHS of essential staff. Attracting new staff is going to be hard until the pressure on GP services is alleviated.”

  • Work is progressing on the online resource intended to improve GP recruitment in Scotland’s remote and rural areas., which is at the final testing stage, aims to complement GP vacancies advertised on NHS Scotland recruitment but with additional content for health boards, information on rural fellowships, NES and BASICS Scotland. More information on the project is available in the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative March bulletin.




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