New figures reveal sharp fall in ratio of GPs per person in Aylesbury
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Aylesbury is one of the worst hit areas in the country when it comes to the growing shortage of GPs, new analysis by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
It comes as many people struggle to book an appointment with their GP, with services increasingly under pressure from rising demand.
The figures for June 2021 showed there is now just one GP per 2,256 people across Buckinghamshire compared to the national average of one GP per 2,038 people.
This is up 4% from one GP per 2,171 people five years ago.
The number of GPs employed in the area has stayed at the same level over the past five years despite the rising population and new housing developments.
Aylesbury Liberal Democrats said the alarming figures, based on analysis by the House of Commons Library, revealed the stark “postcode lottery” facing GP patients. The party is calling on the government to invest in GP services to ensure people can get a doctors’ appointment when they need one.
Further analysis by the British Medical Association (BMA) shows a dismal picture overall for GPs, with the equivalent of more than 1,900 fewer fully qualified, full-time GPs now than there were in 2015.
The picture is similarly bleak 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 the likes of Hungary and Czech Republic, and only just ahead of Brazil and Mexico.
Steven Lambert, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Aylesbury, said:“ The Conservative government are badly letting down both GPs and patients. Aylesbury 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.
“I have seen these issues first hand, finding it virtually impossible to get an appointment at my local GP’s surgery.”
Susan Morgan, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and Adult Social Care at Buckinghamshire Council, added: “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.
“This lack of investment will hit the most vulnerable families in Aylesbury the hardest, with lower income households and those with long term medical conditions stuck in endless waits to get treatment”
“The government must invest more in our GP practices and train up more doctors, to ensure patients get the fair deal they deserve and Buckinghamshire Council must do everything in their power to encourage more new doctors to practice in our county.”