MP says GP surgeries in Aylesbury have reached 'bursting point'

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler believes the town has reached a ‘bursting point’ when it comes to GP surgeries ability to provide health care.
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Speaking in Parliament the MP for Aylesbury cited issues around new housing builds and GP availability to these new homes.

He also highlighted the overwhelming demand which has affected services at these practices.

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Rob Butler speaking in Westminster Hall yesterday, photo from Parliament TVRob Butler speaking in Westminster Hall yesterday, photo from Parliament TV
Rob Butler speaking in Westminster Hall yesterday, photo from Parliament TV

Mr Butler wanted the government to ensure that all new housing developments include new GP surgeries.

In part exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Butler referenced complaints he has received from residents in the Aylesbury area who have had difficulty finalising a doctor’s appointment.

The Bucks Herald has recently reported patients complaining about the time-consuming ordeal of booking a GP appointment with many feeling the situation was getting ‘beyond a joke’.

Mr Butler said in his speech at Westminster hall: “Since 2000 alone, more than 16,000 homes have been added to the town.

"The newly approved Local Plan will add that same number again. The people who come to live in those new houses need excellent local services.

"They need road and rail connections, like the Aylesbury link roads and the Aylesbury Spur.

"They need schools that have enough spaces for all the children living locally. And crucially, they need sufficient health care provision, particularly at the primary level.

"Yet already, GP surgeries in my constituency are at bursting point.

“It is just plain common sense that new housing developments need to include healthcare provision.

"We must ensure that buildings for these facilities are core to the design and planning of large-scale new housing developments.

"And we must also remember that we don’t just need the premises, we need the people.

"So we need to ensure we have enough young people training to join the health service across the full range of professions, with courses such as those as Bucks New University, Bucks College and Bucks UTC all providing a first step.

"We must consider retention as well as recruitment, so that the people living in those housing developments will still have excellent healthcare provision in 10, 20 and 30 years’ time.

"And we mustn’t forget that primary healthcare can result in referral to secondary healthcare – GPs send some of their patients to hospital.

"That must not be neglected when we consider housing development on a scale such as we are seeing in Aylesbury.”

The MP referenced the Local Plan authorised by the council which will see a majority of 30,000 houses built in the county being added to Aylesbury and its surrounding areas.

In response to the debate, the Housing Minister, Stuart Andrew MP, said: “I get it...I’ve listened to the points made and hear them loud and clear."

He said the government is working on a new planning system which will be more streamlined and simpler, where improved services are synonymous with development.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Butler added: “For too long, we have seen developments springing up without the necessary infrastructure to accommodate them.

"I was pleased to highlight in Parliament my firm belief that development must benefit everyone – both new and existing residents who make Aylesbury, the proud county town of Buckinghamshire, such a great place to live and work.”