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General Practice Workforce Survey

2023 Annual Survey
Official Statistics in Development
Published: 12 December 2023

About this release

This release by NHS Education for Scotland provides information on numbers of General Practitioners (GPs), Nurses and other General Practice staff in Scotland on 31 March 2023. We report headcount and Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) with breakdowns by age, sex and staff group.

Main Points

  • The GP Headcount (excluding Specialist Trainees) decreased from 4,514 in 2022 to 4,474 in 2023, a decrease of 0.9%
  • GP whole time equivalent (excluding Specialist Trainees) decreased from 3,493.9 in 2022 to 3,478.4 in 2023, a decrease of 0.4%
  • The overall number of GP sessions lost to absence in 2022/23 was around 10,000 lower than in 2021/22. Sessions lost to sickness absence have increased by a similar amount but this may be influenced by a change in reporting categories since the 2021/22 survey.
  • GP practices in Scotland reported using 342 WTE Locums in 2022/23, the second highest number reported since this survey was first conducted in 2013.
  • The estimated nurse headcount was 2,437, a 1% increase on the previous year. Nurse whole time equivalent also increased by 0.8% to 1,702.4.
  • There was an overall reduction in estimated headcount and whole time equivalent for Health Care Assistants and Phlebotomists working in GP practices in Scotland. There were an estimated 442 Health Care Assistants in GP practices, equivalent to 288.1 WTE, and 84 Phlebotomists (45.9 WTE)

GP Headcount and WTE 2013 - 2023

Further Information

The General Practice workforce survey was last carried out in 2022. Reports on previous versions of the survey were published by Public Health Scotland (PHS) and can be found on PHS’s website.