General Practice

To mark the 70th birthday of our NHS, we're looking at how some NHS careers have changed over the years. In this video, see how the NHS delivered '...a family doctor for every member of the home".


Prior to 1948, only around half of Scots had a General Practitioner (GP). Women, children, the poor and people living in rural areas were among those with no access to reliable healthcare.

The formation of the National Health Service promised 'A family Doctor for every member of the home, young and old'. GPs became responsible for covering the entire population and referring people to hospitals for specialist care. Within the first month of the NHS, 90% of the population had registered with a GP.

In 1952, Dr John Hunt founded The College of General Practitioners. Within six weeks 1,655 Doctors had registered. Now known as The Royal College of General Practitioners, it was granted a Royal Charter in 1972.

A groundbreaking World Health Organization (WHO) declaration in 1978 saw prevention and health promotion become an increasingly important part of the GP's role.

GPs are now at the heart of modern medicine with Healthcare Professionals to treat all kinds of conditions.