‘Broch GP stats are worrying’ says MSP

editorial image

A north-east MSP has labelled the shortage of GPs in the Broch as ‘worrying’ after Fraserburgh was revealed to be below the country’s average.

Mintlaw, Banff and Peterhead also fared poorly in the NHS Scotland report that found patients in those areas found it more difficult to get a doctor appointment.

North East MSP Peter Chapman blasted the results as “not acceptable” and said that parties have to work together to resolve the issued.

The Health and Care Experience Survey tried to ascertain how people in each ward in Scotland found arranging to see a doctor.

The survey said that the Flinlayson Street Surgery in Fraserbrugh has a rating that is 49% below the national average.

Mr Chapman said: “These figures appear to show that the service being provided to people in the Banff and Buchan area is well below the standards experienced elsewhere in the country.

“There are clearly major issues in terms of GP provision that will only get worse as the workforce ages further and more doctors retire from practice.

“The Scottish Government has known about this retirement for some time with as many as one third of GPs expected to retire in the next five years. There can be no excuse for any lack of forward planning.”

The Scottish Government’s health secretary, Shona Robinson, defended the SNP record.

The MSP said: “We have committed to increasing, in every year of this Parliament, the share of the NHS budget dedicated to primary care. In Scotland we are transforming primary care, supported by £85 million of extra investment to put in place long-term, sustainable change within GP services that can better meet changing needs and demands.

“We are creating 100 more GP training posts, improving the GP return to practice scheme, increasing medical student numbers, and continue to work closely with health boards across Scotland to support their own recruitment efforts.

“We are also working closely with the BMA and the Royal College of GPs to reduce workload, this includes our pioneering agreement to abolish the bureeacratic system of GP payments, QOF and work towards a brand new Scottish GP contract from 2017 that will make primary care services fit for the future.”

She added that “the number of GPs in NHS Grampian has increased by almost 10 per cent under this Government”.

An NHS spokesperson told the Herald: “Finlayson St Practice, like practices across the country, faces the challenge of GP recruitment. However, at the start of the year, the Practice took on two nurse practitioners and a pharmacist.

“With the two nurse practitioners, the Practice has also introduced a triage service so patients can initially phone their condition or concern, rather than have to physically come into the Practice. Patients have their calls listened to and handled appropriately, directing them to the most appropriate service. This is already proving better for patients and making the best use of limited health care resources.”