Vacant GP posts in parts of Scotland have been advertised repeatedly or left empty for years, according to data released by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

Freedom of information requests by the party highlighted issues in health boards in Tayside, Lothian, Fife, Highland and Grampian.

NHS Tayside said Brechin Health Centre currently has 5.43 whole-time equivalent (WTE) vacant GP posts which have been advertised on more than one occasion and warned that these have been unfilled “for many years”.

The health board noted GP recruitment is a “challenge nationally” and said it makes “every effort” to fill the posts as well as sending patients to the right service at the right time.

NHS Grampian told the party that four currently unfilled GP vacancies have had to be readvertised, one role has now been advertised on ten occasions and has been vacant since October 2017.

The health board said the affected practices “have all had to employ locums where possible to ensure patient services are maintained”.

In Fife, eight currently unfilled GP roles have had to be readvertised, including a vacancy at the Methilhaven practice which has been vacant since 2017.

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