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Preston ‘one of the worst-hit areas in the country’ as number of GPs per patient falls

Posted on - 13th October, 2021 - 6:00am | Author - | Posted in - Health, People, Politics, Preston News
George Kulbacki, Liberal Democrat campaigner for Sharoe Green ward

The city is one of the worst-hit areas in the country for the number of people per GP numbers, according to new research by the Liberal Democrats.

New figures reveal there was one GP per 2,495 people in Preston in June 2021, compared to the national average of one GP per 2,038.

The number rose 11 per cent from the one GP per 2,250 people in Preston five years ago. The number of GPs employed in the area has fallen by -8 per cent to just 82 in the same period.

The news comes as many people struggle to book an appointment with their GP, with services increasingly under pressure from rising demand.

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Preston Liberal Democrats said the figures, based on analysis by the House of Commons Library, revealed the stark ‘postcode lottery’ facing GP patients.

George Kulbacki, Liberal Democrat campaigner for Sharoe Green ward, said: “The Conservative government are badly letting down both GPs and patients in Preston – residents deserve a fair deal.

“Instead of fixing the GP shortage crisis, the Conservatives are making it worse by failing to train the new doctors we desperately need.

“The worsening GP shortage has given rise to a postcode lottery, with our hard-working GPs overstretched and people left waiting too long for treatment or even an appointment.

“Families rely on being able to see a GP when they or their children fall sick to get advice, access treatment and get well again. The government must invest more in our GP practices and train up more doctors, to ensure patients get the fair deal they deserve.”

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The party is now calling on the government to invest in GP services to ensure people can get a doctors’ appointment.

Further analysis by the British Medical Association (BMA) shows there is the equivalent of over 1,900 fewer fully qualified, full-time GPs now than there were in 2015.

The picture is similar when compared to the UK’s international neighbours. OECD stats from 2019 show that the UK’s average of three doctors per 1,000 people ranks below Hungary and Czech Republic and is only just ahead of Brazil and Mexico.

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