Out of hours figures reveal pressure on GP services

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has warned that new figures on out-of-hours services in Scotland reveal the extent of pressure on GPs.

Figures published for the first time today by ISD Scotland found that nearly one million consultations were carried out last year by GP out-of-hours services. One fifth of patients seen were aged 75 and over.

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:

“These figures reveal the extent of pressure on existing GP services. They provide a lifeline in out-of-hours services but are increasingly being expected to do even more with even less.

“The Royal College of GPs have already warned that Scotland will be 900 GPs short by 2020. Health boards are already being forced to take control of more GP practices due to shortages.

“We have the prospect of a vicious circle where increased pressure on our remaining GPs will make it harder to recruit and retain doctors in this crucial area of medicine, increasing the workload again and putting further strain on GPs and accident and emergency services alike.

“I want the SNP Government to set out how they will support local GPs and address this looming crisis.”

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