THE dysfunctional relationships between GPs, hospital doctors and other public services are hampering efforts to improve the health of the poorest people in Scotland, according to a leading academic.

Professor Graham Watt, an expert in general practice at Glasgow University, said the fragmentation of services and the lack of additional support for GP services in deprived areas needed to be addressed in order to start transforming the country's appalling health record.

He added: "Practices are natural hubs around which other services can operate, but the challenge is to cultivate relationships with almost everyone."

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He is hopeful the Audit Scotland report will raise attention on these issues.