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Scots GP shortage likely to get worse

GPs' contribution to the NHS has been hugely underestimated in Government figures on health service productivity.

Officials heading an independent review of how NHS productivity is measured said existing measures of GP 'output' relied on outdated information and contained large margins of error.

Joe Grice, executive director of the Atkinson Review and deputy head of the Government Economic Service, said existing measures for the rate of GP consultations contained margins of error of up to 7 per cent. 'GPs do more things now than they did 10 or 15 years ago and we expect that trend to go on,' he said.

'If we just measure output by how often people see their GP and are failing to pick up the expanded range of things that used to be done in secondary care, we will be underestimating their contribution.'

In a submission to the Atkinson review, the Office for National Statistics has proposed new measures that take into account the quality of GPs' work, and work done as part of care 'packages'.

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