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Multi-million pound drive for GPs nets just 18 recruits

The Scottish Government announced £2.5m of funding for the scheme in 2015.

GPs: The Conservatives say the fund has failed 'miserably'.
GPs: The Conservatives say the fund has failed 'miserably'. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A multi-million pound fund to recruit new GPs has led to only 18 doctors being hired since 2015, new statistics show.

Health minister Shona Robison released the data following a written question from the shadow Conservative health minister Miles Briggs.

The Scottish Government launched the initiative, the GP Recruitment and Retention Fund, two years ago to "examine and take forward proposals" to boost the number of doctors.

Briggs said the findings showed the devolved administration had failed "miserably".

One of the initiative's founding aims was to encourage medical students to consider working in rural and poorer areas.

The statistics released by the health minister show not a single GP has been recruited in the Highlands through the time of the fund.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1400585-scotland-has-uk-s-highest-number-of-gp-training-vacancies/ | default

18 GPs

  • NHS Tayside: 7 GPs.
  • NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde -Deep EndPioneer Scheme: 5 GPs.
  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran: 3 GPs.
  • NHS Borders: 2 GPs
  • NHS Lothian: 1 GP

Robison said: "The GP recruitment and retention fund was set up to explore, with key stakeholders, the issues surrounding GP recruitment and retention.

"The programme has examined and taken forward proposals to increase the number of medical students choosing to go into GP training, as well as encouraging those wanting to work in rural and economically deprived areas."

She added: "The fund is also supporting a range of initiatives including the establishment of a Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative involving ten NHS Boards."

Briggs said: "It's no wonder Scotland is in the grip of a general practice crisis when the SNP government fails so miserably to attract doctors to the job.

"This was launched with the promise of delivering GPs for rural and deprived areas. Instead, it's led to a handful of new appointments which will barely have had any impact at all.

"Indeed, at this rate it would take this scheme almost a century to address the shortage of 856 GPs we're expected to have."

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1399815-gps-named-most-trusted-community-health-professionals/ | default

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