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Scottish dispensing numbers down

30% decline over a decade

December 19th 2014

Tagged: NHS statistical reports Scotland

By Ailsa Colquhoun

The number of dispensing practices in Scotland has fallen by almost 30% between 2004 and 2014. In 2014 there were 101 dispensing practices, according to the latest GP workforce figures for Scotland.

The report attributes the declining number of dispensing practices to a number of factors: an increasing presence of commercial pharmacies in rural areas previously served by a dispensing practice and possible mergers of practices.

Other key findings from the report:

  • The number of GPs contracted to work for NHS Scotland has risen by about 10% since the agreement of the General Medical Services Contract (Scotland) in 2004. Currently there are around 4900 GPs in post across Scotland.
  • Since 2004, the GP workforce has changed from mainly being male (55% in 2004) to mainly being female (only 44% males in 2014).
  • The population of GPs has aged alongside its patients. In 2014, 45% of the male GPs, and around a quarter of the female GPs, were aged 50 years and over. In 2004 this was 38% and 17%, respectively.
  • 89% of the primary medical qualifications held by qualified General Practitioners in 2014 were obtained in the UK, slightly lower than in 2004 (94%). Analysis reveals, among other findings, small increases in GPs qualified in South Asia
  • The patient population that is aged 65+ is increasing across Scotland, whereas the younger age groups have decreased between 2006 and 2014.