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GP numbers shock

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DUMFRIES and Galloway has the highest GP vacancy rate in mainland Scotland.

A report published this week by Audit Scotland shows that 11.8 per cent of GP posts in the region are vacant, with only the island communities of Shetland and the Western Isles having higher percentages. It also shows that Dumfries and Galloway lost 32 GPs between 2013 and 2018 – more than any other health board during the same period – with 17 GPs leaving the region in the space of just one year. The NHS Workforce Planning report looks at the clinical workforce currently working in general practice. It shows that there are currently 120 GPs working in the region, supported by a staff of 73 nurses.

The report also provides statistics from the health and care experience survey, conducted in 2017. Dumfries and Galloway ranked in the top five for positive responses in all but one of the areas surveyed. It showed that 75 per cent of patients were able to book appointments three days ahead, while 96 per cent of patients were able to speak to someone within 48 hours if needed. More than 90 per cent of respondents felt their GP practice was easy to contact in the way they wanted to, while, while 86 per cent said they felt positive about the overall care provided by their GP practice.

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