Scottish Liberal Democrats attack Government over GP closures

21 Apr 2024
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today criticised the Scottish Government over the closure of GP practices.

Figures from the British Medical Association show that:

  • The number of GP practices providing services to patients has reduced in at least 12 out of 14 Scottish health boards. There are now 17 fewer practices in Glasgow, 16 fewer in Lanarkshire, 11 fewer in Grampian and 8 fewer in the Highlands.
  • The number of patients per GP in the area has also gone up in 13 out of 14 health boards. In Lanarkshire each GP is now responsible for 2,201 patients. In Fife, they are responsible for 1,816. In Grampian they are responsible for 1,803.
  • Across Scotland, 79 practices, or almost 10% of the total have formally closed their list to new patients. That’s up from just 19 practices in 2018.

In February, Scottish Liberal Democrats put forward a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on the government to rewrite the failed NHS Recovery Plan to get recruitment and retention of staff back on track and build stronger local health services by expanding the range of services and specialists available, including in fields such as mental health and physiotherapy. The SNP/Green Government blocked it.

The party also revealed that as many as one in five Scots say their mental health had been impacted by long GP and hospital waits.

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“The Scottish Government is driving local health services into the ground.

“Hundreds of thousands of Scots are finding it near-impossible to see their GP and waiting months for hospital treatment.

“Increasing numbers of GP practices are being forced to close their patient lists because they do not have sufficient resources to meet their patient needs.

“This is one of the biggest issues that comes up on doorsteps across the country and Scottish Liberal Democrats have a plan. We want to see more specialists in areas such as mental health and physiotherapy and swift access to care close to home.”

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