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Practices and Their Populations

Frequently Asked Questions

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Frequently Asked Questions

Question. How many general practices (GP surgeries) are there in Scotland / each NHS Board?

Answer. You can find this via our page about Practices and Their populations, under the section headed "Information at NHS Board and Scotland level"  The counts shown are of all practices that have patients registered to them, i.e. of all regular GP surgeries, plus a few specialist primary care services.  Other primary care services that have practice codes for administrative reasons, but which do not have patients registered specifically to them, e.g. Out of Hours Services, are not included in these counts.

Question. Where can I find a list of GP practices in Scotland?

Answer. You can find a list on our page about Practices and Their populations, under the Quick Links section.  It contains information including practice addresses, phone numbers and list sizes (numbers of registered patients).

Question. What is the average size of a practice in terms of number of patients registered?

Answer. As above you can find this within the "All practices" table on practices and practice populations at NHS Board and Scotland level.

Question. What is the average number of patients (list size) per GP?

Answer. This is very difficult to measure in an accurate, consistent and meaningful way.  Before April 2004, patients registered with a specific GP and so each GP had his or her own "list size".  However, since the new General Medical Services (GMS) contract came into effect on 1st April 2004, patients no longer register with a specific GP.  Instead they register with the practice as a whole (even though they may wish to see a particular GP most or all of the time).  The new contract places much more emphasis on patient care being provided by the whole clinical team (GPs, nurses and other health professionals) and therefore the concept of average numbers of patients per GP is now less meaningful than may have been the case historically.  In addition, attempts to calculate numbers of patients per GP using routinely available data are based on GP headcount information and therefore can take no account of differences between areas in the proportion of GPs who may work part time to a greater or lesser degree.

Question. What is the average number of GPs per head of population?

Answer. The answer to this is as per the question above.

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