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GP vacancy rates at worrying levels says BMA

16 March 2015

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High vacancy rates in GP practices in Scotland are leaving practices struggling to cope, a new British Medical Association (BMA) survey has found. 

The survey, undertaken by the Scottish GP Committee, found that 17% of the 463 practices who responded had at least one GP vacancy. The warning comes as GPs from across Scotland gather in Clydebank for the Annual Conference of Scottish Local Medical Committees, where the challenges of GP workforce and workload are high on the agenda.

GP leaders are calling on the Scottish Government to work with the BMA to address the ongoing recruitment and retention problems in general practice.

The survey, which had a 61% response rate, also revealed the difficulties practices face in trying to secure locum cover, with 75% of respondents stating that they were unable to secure a locum on at least one day over a one-month period. In more extreme cases, practices had been unable to secure locum cover for 15 days or more within the one-month period.