RCGP Scotland response to the General Practice Workforce Survey

Responding to today's workforce update from NHS Education for Scotland, Dr Chris Provan, Chair of RCGP Scotland said: 

"The data released lays bare the failure to adequately staff general practice in Scotland, and reflects the deeply challenging frontline environment in which GPs are currently working. 

"At a time of rising demand, a growing and aging population, and the long tail of COVID-19, it is highly worrying that the number of GPs in Scotland is on an opposite trajectory. 

"The Scottish government is not on track to meet its commitment of 800 new GPs by 2027, having added only 271 in the past 6 years. 

"On behalf of our members and patients alike, RCGP Scotland continues to call for Scottish Government to address the profound issues of workforce, workload and welfare within general practice. We will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government towards a system which more accurately counts the GP workforce, rather than relying on estimates." 

Further information

Media requests to Angus Gould, Policy and Public Relations Officer RCGP Scotland

Tel: 07808 795493


Notes to editor

RCGP Scotland represents a network of around 5,000 doctors in Scotland aiming to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standard of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on resources, education, training, research and clinical standards. 

  1. The GP Headcount (excluding Specialist Trainees) decreased from 4,514 in 2022 to 4,474 in 2023, a decrease of 0.9% 
  2. GP whole time equivalent (excluding Specialist Trainees) decreased from 3,493.9 in 2022 to 3,478.4 in 2023, a decrease of 0.4%.i 
  3. The number of registered patients in Scotland has increased by 2.1% over the past two years. ii 
  4. Scotland's population is continuing to age, with a 50% increase in over 60s projected by 2033. iii 

i. General Practice Workforce Survey 2023 | Turas Data Intelligence (nhs.scot) 

ii. General Practice Workforce Survey 2023 | Turas Data Intelligence (nhs.scot) 

iii. Demographic Change in Scotland, Scottish Government Social Research 2010