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GPs named most trusted community health professionals 

YouGov research finds overwhelming support for the work of family doctors.

Survey: 63% of patients told researchers they want to see a GP first when making an appointment.
Survey: 63% of patients told researchers they want to see a GP first when making an appointment. Press Association

Almost four-fifths of Scots believe GPs are the community professionals they trust the most to meet their healthcare needs, according to a poll.

The Royal College of General Practitioners in Scotland, which commissioned the YouGov study, said the finding demonstrated overwhelming support for the work of family doctors.

The results were released as the RCPG's annual conference takes place in Liverpool.

The survey asked respondents a range of questions on their opinion of general practice and their views on the current state of the service in Scotland.

It found 79% of people think it is their GP who can be trusted most, compared to other professionals in the wider general practice team, to help meet their healthcare needs.

In addition, 63% of patients told researchers they want to see a GP first when making an appointment rather than being asked to see other members of the primary care team.

A similar figure, 64%, placed importance on seeing the same GP each time if possible.

The RCGP said the findings give strong support for their call for GPs "to remain firmly at the centre of patient care".

'GPs are uniquely placed to deliver care others cannot offer, and their rigorous training in delivering this effectively means that they are best placed within the healthcare system as the first port of call for their patients' needs.'
Dr Miles Mack, chair of RCGP Scotland

The body said almost nine in 10 Scots, 88%, support their campaign for more funding for the GP service.

Dr Miles Mack, chairman of RCGP Scotland, said: "GPs are uniquely placed to deliver care others cannot offer and their rigorous training in delivering this effectively means that they are best placed within the healthcare system as the first port of call for their patients' needs.

"GPs hugely value the work of our multi-disciplinary team members but no other professional within our teams can or should be used as a replacement for general practitioners.

"This survey sends a clear message that patients want their GP to remain central to their care as the NHS develops."

Dr Mack also called for GP spending to be increased to 11% of NHS Scotland's budget.

YouGov questioned 1022 Scottish adults online from April 11-13 this year.

Scottish Labour's health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: "Our GPs do fantastic work day in, day out and it is no surprise to see that patients across Scotland overwhelmingly value their work.

"It is a credit to our GPs that they continue to do such vital work despite having their budget persistently raided by SNP ministers."

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Miles Briggs said: "This shows just how dependent people are on their local GP, and in how high regard they hold them.

"It's quite an achievement that doctors have managed to maintain this level of trust despite the disastrous stewardship of general practice by the SNP."

Health secretary Shona Robison said the Scottish Government was working with the British Medical Association to deliver a new GP contract.

She said: "By the end of this Parliament we will have invested £250m a year in direct support of general practice as part of the Scottish Government's commitment to increase primary care funding by £500m.

"Through this increased investment, over £71m this year is going to initiatives to support GPs, like the development of multidisciplinary teams to free GPs' time to help them focus on those most in need of their skills."

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