Glasgow has 17 fewer GP practices than a decade ago with seeing doctor 'near-impossible'

There are 17 fewer practices in Glasgow than there were a decade ago.
There are 17 fewer practices in Glasgow than there were a decade ago. -Credit:Getty Images

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have criticised statistics showing an increase in GP practices closing to new patients.

The party said figures from the British Medical Association (BMA) show 79 practices across Scotland, or almost 10% of the total, have formally closed their list to new patients, up from 19 in 2018.

The number of GP practices providing services to patients reduced in at least 12 out of 14 Scottish health boards between 2013 and 2023, the party said its analysis of BMA figures shows.

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There are 17 fewer practices in Glasgow than there were a decade ago, 16 fewer in Lanarkshire, 11 fewer in Grampian and eight fewer in the Highlands.

The number of patients per GP has increased in 13 out of 14 health boards over that period, the party said. In Lanarkshire, each GP is now responsible for 2,201 patients, while in Fife the figure is 1,816, and in Grampian it is 1,803.

The Lib Dems said as many as one in five Scots say their mental health has been impacted by long GP and hospital waits.

In February, the party put forward a motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on the Government to rewrite the NHS recovery plan to get recruitment and staff retention on track, and expand local services in fields such as mental health and physiotherapy, however this was blocked.

Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: "The Scottish Government is driving local health services into the ground.

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"Hundreds of thousands of Scots are finding it near-impossible to see their GP and waiting months for hospital treatment.

"Increasing numbers of GP practices are being forced to close their patient lists because they do not have sufficient resources to meet their patient needs.

"This is one of the biggest issues that comes up on doorsteps across the country, and Scottish Liberal Democrats have a plan.

"We want to see more specialists in areas such as mental health and physiotherapy and swift access to care close to home."

The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.