Funding of £7m will help boost GP capacity, says Humza Yousaf

The health secretary acknowledged GPs were under 'significant pressure' amid high demand for their services.

Funding of £7m will help boost GP capacity, says Humza Yousaf Getty Images

Funding of £7m to improve GPs surgeries will help to increase capacity for patients, Humza Yousaf has said.

However the health secretary acknowledged GPs were under “significant pressure” amid high demand for their services.

Earlier this month, BMA Scotland published a survey saying demand for appointments was exceeding capacity in more than 80% of surgeries.

The survey also found more than a quarter of practices had at least one GP position vacant.

On Monday, the Scottish Government announced £7m to improve existing premises and help medics find additional sites to work from.

Yousaf also visited the Lochee Medical Practice in Dundee, speaking to doctors and others working at the practice.

He told the PA news agency: “Of course there is significant pressure on GPs services, we know that and I’m thankful to GPs for all that they’ve done.

“We know a number of GPs practices were built many years ago, decades ago in fact.

“So their space wasn’t designed to facilitate infection prevention and control measures, which limits the number of patients they could potentially see face to face.

“So this money will absolutely help with that, it will also help those multi-disciplinary teams look for other premises that might be available which ultimately helps patients.”

He said ministers were also aware of concerns about retaining GPs in the profession.

Yousaf added: “The BMA raised this issue with me directly, I’m in continual dialogue with them.

“One of the areas that works against GPs is some of the pension changes made by the UK Government in this regard.

“So I’ve written to the Health Secretary on this matter.

“So far there’s not been any movement, but what we can do to retain GPs is certainly part of the conversation I’m having with the profession.”

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