‘Postcode lottery’ as figures reveal Calderdale as one of highest areas for number of residents per GP
PATIENTS are facing a “postcode lottery” over seeing a GP in England, with the worst-affected areas served by half the number of doctors as the best.
New analysis has shown that there is on average one GP per 2,038 people across the country, a five per cent rise since 2015.
But there are also huge disparities across England, with some areas seeing an increase of around 40 per cent in people per GP over the same period.
Calderdale has one GP for every 2,606 more than double the 1,279 people per GP in Wirral.
The Liberal Democrats, who commissioned the analysis, have called on the Government to train more GPs.
Lib Dem health spokeswoman Munira Wilson said: “These figures reveal a postcode lottery of care that is leaving people struggling to get GP appointments or waiting weeks to be seen. But instead of fixing the crisis, the Conservatives are making it worse by failing to train the new doctors we desperately need.”
The areas with the highest numbers of inhabitants per GP are Fylde and Wyre (2,833), Hull (2,761), Calderdale (2,606), Thurrock (2,592) and Portsmouth (2,559). The lowest five are Liverpool (1,614), Oxfordshire (1,688), Wirral (1,720), West Suffolk (1,731) and East Staffordshire (1,745).
The figures are based on research by the House of Commons Library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The number of full-time GPs increased between March 2016 and March 2021 and, last year, a record-breaking number of doctors started training as GPs.
“We are grateful for the tireless efforts of GPs throughout the pandemic and have invested £270m to expand GP capacity, on top of £1.5bn until 2023/24.
“We are committed to increasing the number of training places available for GPs to 4,000 a year and creating an extra 50m appointments annually to improve patient access.”