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Paramedics having to step in due to shortage of GPs

Paramedics have had to stand in for GPs in Scotland because managers could not find enough GPs to fill shifts out of hours.

Health boards in Scotland are struggling to find enough GPs to look after patients during evenings and weekends.

The Herald Scotland reports that this has led to health boards turning to paramedics to fill the gaps.

It comes as yesterday, official NHS figures showed that the number of GP surgeries in Scotland with vacancies for doctors has doubled since 2013, with half of these vacancies going unfilled for more than six months.

The figures also revealed that the number of full-time GPs working for NHS Scotland has dropped by about 90 since the survey was last carried out in 2013.

There is a £2m plan from the Scottish Government to solve the crisis with recrutiment but Dr Alan McDevitt, chair of the Scottish GPC, said that the extra funding was 'nowhere near sufficient’.

Readers' comments (9)

  • This insufficient funding does not bode well for the new Scottish Contract in April 2017. We are still waiting for the details to be announced.Looks like the downward trend in full time equivalents will speed up once GPs realise the promised cavalry are not coming.

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  • Like a third world country.

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  • Pity there is also a national shortage of paramedics... Wonder why mr Hunt?
    When are we to get competent leadership in the English NHS?

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  • bring back basic practice allowance, mpig, seniority allowance. scrap carr-hill formula and give pay rise for present and past 5 years. you will see gp's coming back.

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  • Paramedics are great when it comes to cardiac arrests and major trauma but have never been trained to manage uncertainty and diagnose normality or chronic conditions/MH.

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  • It looks like the top brass has sold their common sense. All this talk of paramedics, physician associates and importing GPs from India, Romania, Bulgaria and maybe Timbuktu and failing the home trained GP trainees in a very subjective exam. You reap what you sow.

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  • There is a lot of noise and smoke, but until patients actually cannot access medical services at all, there will be no problems whatsoever.
    All this noise means nothing.

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  • Does the paramedics indemnity cover them for this?
    Can imagine it now...
    Everything passed by the one scapegoat
    All consults ending with ...
    And how do you spell your name doctor..

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  • Appropriately trained and educated paramedics with the support of primary care physicians (RCGP), do and can have a role to play in primary/ooh care.
    The cost to this is a reduction of experienced paramedics in the acute emergency care sector, hence we are employing paramedics from Australia, recently qualified, very young with little or no experence which has an impact on responce time reliability and more importantly conveyance to hospital with patients more eligible to be seen by a gp not sho/reg/consultant in the ED.
    The attraction to work in primary care wages appropriate wage to reflect role, no nights, no weekends, no bank holiday working, not getting punched, spat sworn at, etc etc

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