Scottish GPs “pushed to their limits” by workload and recruitment crisis


SCOTLAND’S GPs have been “pushed to their limits” by rising workload and a recruitment and retention crisis, according to the profession’s leader.

Dr Alan McDevitt, chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GP committee, said: “I love being a GP and I want a future for general practice where the GPs looking after my family love their work too.

“GP morale is at an all time low and workload intensity is unsustainable. Something has to change, and it has to change now, because if we allow this situation to continue, general practice will break.”

An increasing number of GPs are hanging up their stethoscopes, leaving. Pic: Harmid
An increasing number of GPs are hanging up their stethoscopes. Pic: Harmid


Speaking at the annual conference of Scottish Local Medical Committees in Clydebank, he added: “We know there isn’t a single magic bullet that can solve all the problems facing general practice, but I do believe now is the time for us in Scotland to refocus the role of the GP.

“It’s time for GPs to become the expert medical generalists within primary care and for us to rebuild the practice based primary care team.”

Dr McDevitt spoke of the need for GPs to be able to be GPs, and the importance of medical leadership in the development of new integrated health and social care partnerships.

Scottish Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said: “The SNP cannot continue to pretend that all is well in our A+E departments when the BMA are spelling out the crisis in recruitment for GPs.

“With accident and emergency treatment times continuing to be missed, departments continue to bear the brunt of the SNP’s inability to address the long term recruitment of staff in frontline community services like GPs. All of this is against the backdrop of growing patient lists and real terms funding cuts to general medical services imposed by Ministers.

“The SNP have taken their eye off the ball and have been too busy campaigning on independence to tackle the growing staffing crisis in our GP services.”