About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland provides information on estimated whole time equivalent (WTE) of GPs in Scotland up to 2019, broken down by age and sex, GP designation and NHS board. It also provides estimates of Headcount and WTE for nurses at General Practices in Scotland.

Note that more recent GP Headcount data is available in the GP Workforce and Practice List Sizes publication.

Main points

  • The GP (excluding Specialist Trainees) WTE increased from an estimated 3,520 in 2017 to an estimated 3,613 in 2019, based on 8 sessions per week being one WTE.
  • The WTE for all nurses in General Practice increased from an estimated 1,541 in 2017 to an estimated 1,690 in 2019, based on 37 hours or more per week being full time.
Image caption GP headcount and estimated nurse headcount, and estimated GP and nurse WTE in Scotland, 2013 to 2019
GP Headcount and Estimated Nurse Headcount, and Estimated GP and Nurse WTE in Scotland, 2013 to 2019


The National Primary Care Workforce Survey (external website) was last carried out in 2017. It was replaced in 2019 by a GP Data Collection Tool (external website), which continued to collect data on the GP, nurse and other professional workforce in general practice. It also collected aggregate finance information on the income and expense of running a general practice, which is being analysed internally by the Scottish Government. Information on the Primary Care out of hours workforce was published separately in the Primary Care Out Of Hours Workforce Survey 2019.

Due to the new method of data collection, quality assurance was carried out by PHS to ensure reliability of the data. As a result a large proportion of practices' data was excluded from the analysis and the figures presented here are estimates based on 403 out of over 900 practices in Scotland.

Figures for GP Headcount have been taken from the National Primary Care Clinicians Database (NPCCD), which is used in the annual GP Workforce and Practice List Sizes publication. These figures have also been used when estimating GP WTE from this data collection. Nurse WTE and Nurse Headcount are estimated based on practice population. For more details on the methodology used, see the Methodology section of the main report.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please email phs.generalpractice@phs.scot.

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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.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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