More GPs needed in Calderdale to cope with expanding population

Will two more new GOP surgeries cope with the demand in Calderdale?
Will two more new GOP surgeries cope with the demand in Calderdale?

Two more GP practices will be needed to meet Calderdale’s growing population over the next decade and a half.

The projection has been made as councillors consider a draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP), the completed and approved version of which will form a key part of Calderdale Council’s Local Plan, which councillors are expected to begin finalising in June.

The Government requires all local authorities to formulate a Local Plan, which in Calderdale’s case will shape the area’s housing needs over the next 15 years.

The council is expected to make provision for 12,600 new homes and about 60,000 square metres of new employment space by 2032.

Councillors are being asked to comment on the IDP at tomorrow’s meeting of the Cabinet Local Plan Working Party.

The draft IDP says that assuming associated population growth of about 18,000 over the 15-year life of the plan, and based on research that each GP surgery serves an average of 8,500 people, two more would be required to meet need.

In reality, the figure could be higher due to the ageing nature of Calderdale’s population – the number of citizens aged over 66 is likely to peak in the Local Plan’s final year, says the draft IDP.

The Local Plan will have a “significant role and impact” on the future infrastructure needs of the NHS and future development must be co-ordinated as closely as possible to match services with need, it adds.

The NHS will be kept informed of any future consultations in order that they can keep contributing to the Local Plan process.

In terms of the emergency services, Yorkshire Ambulance Service is likely to be the most affected by the projected population increase and has expressed an interest in being kept up to date with the council’s plans.