General Practice - GP workforce and practice list sizes
A National Statistics publication for Scotland
2012 - 2022
- Primary care
About this release
This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides information on the General Practitioner (GP) workforce contracted to work in Scottish practices in the years 2012 to 2022. It includes information about the number of GP practices and profile of patients registered.
REVISON 20 January 2023 :
We have planned a revision for the 'General Practice - GP workforce and practice list sizes 2012-2022' Published on the 13th December 2022. It was brought to our attention that in Table 7 and Table 8 of the data files, a practice which is not included in similar publications (such as the open data files we produce on Practice details) were included in this publication for years 2021 and 2022. This practice was classed as an Admin practice in the NPCCD data files and shouldn't have been included. This practice along with 2 other Admin practices have been removed from the publication in this revision. The inclusion of these practices in the initial release did not present a disclosure release.
Two further issues were identified and corrected during this process regarding Table 8:
For 2022, 33 practices included in Table 8 were duplicates or triplets of almost identical rows of data. For 2021, 13 practices were found to have the same issue. For this revision, The correct practice row was chosen for each of these duplicates and the others have been removed.
For 2022, roughly 2/5ths of the data in the final column of Table 8 was recorded as 0, which signifies an NA value, all entries should contain a value between 1-8. This was due to an incompatible types of the Urban Rural classification between patient data and the lookup. This issue has been fixed for this revision.
As at 30 September 2022:
- The headcount of GPs in Scotland is 5,209 (including GP trainees). This is a rise of 32 GPs compared to last year.
- This rise is predominantly in female GPs, who now make up 62% of GPs in Scotland.
Source: National Primary Care Clinician Database (NPCCD)
1 Note that these figures are headcounts of GPs rather than Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) and do not reflect differences in part-time hours
- Prior to 2018, the headcount of GPs had remained fairly constant at around 4,900 since 2012.
- After 2018, the number of male GPs levelled out at around 1,950 while the number of female GPs continues to rise. This has resulted in an increase of 223 GPs from 2018 to 2022.
- 30% of all GPs are aged 50 and over, down from a high of 34% in 2013.
- The most recent estimate for whole time equivalent of GPs can be found in the General Practice Workforce Survey 2022 which estimated that there were 3,494 GP (excluding Specialist Trainees) Whole Time Equivalents (WTE) in Scotland in 2022.
As at 1 October 2022:
- The number of patients registered with GP practices continues to rise slowly year on year and has increased by 6% since 2012.
- The number of patients aged 65 and over has increased by 20% since 2012.
- The number of practices in Scotland decreased by 9% from 997 to 911 practices since 2012, reflecting a trend towards fewer practices overall and instead having larger practices.
This publication presents data on the General Practitioner (GP) workforce contracted to work in Scottish practices in the years 2012 to 2022. Data is broken down at NHS Board and local authority level, by age, gender and designation (external website) (type of GP).
Information is also presented on the number of patients registered with GP practices between 2012 and 2022, broken down at NHS Board and local authority level, by age group and practice type.
Note that GP workforce information is only available as a headcount; an estimate of the whole time equivalent of GPs for 2022 can be found in the General Practice Workforce Survey 2022.
GP headcounts in this report do not include GPs who work only as locums, who work purely in Out of Hours services, or who are in the early stages of GP training.
For workforce information on all medical staff employed directly by the NHS, please see the NHS Scotland Workforce Publications (external website).
The next release of this publication will be December 2023.
If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.
Requesting other formats and reporting issues
If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email email@example.com.
To report any issues with a publication, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Older versions of this publication
Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.