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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Scotland has highest number of GPs per head of population

GP employment in Scotland was the healthiest of any of the four home nations in 2011 with around 0.9 GPs for every 1,000 patients, according to a wide-ranging longitudinal study of the NHS.

The Nuffield Trust study of full-time equivalent GPs found the Scotland had 1,407 patients per GP in 2011, with England at 1,504, then Wales at 1,641. Data wasn’t available for Northern Ireland.

The North East of England was the best performing region, with only 1,360 patients per GP.

The study - ‘The four health systems of the United Kingdom: how do they compare?’ - evaluated how the national health systems in each country have changed before and after devolution.

It found that health service investment across the UK has doubled between 2000/01 and 2013/13, but austerity has slowed spending in the last three years and decreased investment in Wales.

It found that satisfaction with general practice remained high, with patients in the North East of England most satisfied with ‘the way the NHS’s local doctors or GPs run nowadays’.

Around 80% of respondents in the North East of England were satisfied or very satisfied, followed by Wales with 78%, 76% in England and 68% in Scotland.

Andy McKeon, senior policy adviser for the Nuffield trust said: ‘Our study period coincided with the biggest sustained injection of cash the four health systems have ever seen, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that staff numbers have increased and performance has improved.’

He said that despite differing policies, no one health service was consistently performing best, adding: ‘The North East’s remarkable progress on reducing avoidable deaths and improving life expectancy suggest that local conditions, such as funding and the quality of staff are the real determinants of health service performance.’

GPs per 1000 patients in each of the home nations - Nuffield trust

Source: Nuffield Trust - Single Use

GPs per 1000 patients in each of the home nations - Nuffield trust

Readers' comments (5)

  • This information is really not giving us a proper picture of reality. For instance there is are full time GPs looking after as little as 200 patients in remote parts of Scotland. This makes the picture look rosy up here in Scotland! We have an ageing population, deprivation and an increasing complex multi morbitidys and just like the rest of the country GPs here are struggling.Its the sort of figures that managers and health ministers use to make big decisions about the NHS when they don't understand the reality. They don't want to speak to grass roots workers to see a more accurate picture.

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  • My practice has 1900 patients/full time GP and we make the average GP income. If we had less patients we would be very underpaid.

    Not surprisingly we feel very over worked.

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  • To add - we are an English practice.

    I think their figures/GP are not accurate at all for what is happening in the South of England. I believe the average list size is increasing, to the detriment of doctors and patients.

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  • 2200 here as I'm single handed so no economy of scale when it comes to staff expenses. Working here on a Saturday doing private medicals to try to make ends meet. Oh, yeah, and in Wales.

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  • appreciate comments above,also i salute the superiority of scottish good sense(evident also in their superior legal and house sale systems)i note also with dreary familiarity the hopeless incompetence of the administration(though nhse exceeds anyone in bullheaded bigoted bullying unaccountable incompetence)..just the same..the greatest failing of management is not sitting at the shop floor and applying policies to reality and carrying coal face workers with them so the latter own the change..no ----usual reactionary stalinist distant top downism with the same lamentable results plus demoralisation of those same coal face workers..the latter causing a very insiduous but profound cancerous down grading of especially a health service so dependent on the emotional health of its practitioners.department of health is not fit for purpose and is led by desperate incompetents.

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