Scotland to train more GPs
The Scottish Government is increase the number of GP training places by a third in light of increasing demands for family doctors and an ageing workforce.
The Royal College of General Practice in Scotland has warned of an impending crisis in GP recruitment, with increasing workload and pressure forcing doctors out of the profession.
Speaking at an inaugural lecture for the Health and Social Care Alliance tonight, the First Minister will announce the number of specialist training posts in Scotland will increase from 300 to 400 next year.
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“It’s a major commitment towards ensuring that we have the skilled practitioners patients need, working in integrated services, delivering our vision for the health service of the future,” she will say.
The plan will form part of a redesign of primary care to focus more on a whole team approach led through ‘community health hubs’, including pharmacists, physiotherapists and other specialists, she will tell delegates.
“This vision for GP-led services depends on us doing more to recruit and then retain general practitioners," she is expected to say.
"We know that in the last five years more than 250 people under the age of 50 have stopped being a GP. Often that will be for personal reasons - for example if they become parents, or carers themselves.
"Many of those GPs will become able to return to practice after a few years.
"So we will invest in a programme to increase the effectiveness of our existing GP returners' scheme. After all, training a GP costs approximately £500,000.
"It makes overwhelming sense to encourage people who have already been trained, and already have experience, back into practice."