LIB DEMS' HELEN MAGUIRE CALLS FOR A RETURN TO "PROPER LOCAL HEALTH SERVICES"
AS FIGURES DEMONSTRATE THE PRESSURES ON GPS IN SURREY
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Epsom & Ewell Helen Maguire has highlighted the increasing pressure on local GPs after new figures revealed the increased workload on GPs in Surrey Heartlands as patient numbers rise.
The analysis shows that there are now an eye-watering 2150 patients for every GP in Surrey Heartlands. This is up by 5% since 2016.
At the last election, the Conservative party promised to recruit more GPs. However, today's analysis reveals there are now almost 2,000 fewer fully qualified GPs in England compared to 2016.
Separate figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have found that there are 547 fewer GP surgeries in England compared to 2019. The Southeast of England has lost 97 surgeries over the same period.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey recently launched the party's local election campaign with a pledge to recruit more GPs and give patients a legal right to see a GP within seven days, or 24 hours in an emergency. This would be achieved through increasing training places for GPs, a programme to retain experienced doctors and staff, and launching a recruitment drive to encourage those who've left the NHS to return. The party is also calling for a rescue plan for social care, including setting a higher minimum wage for carers to tackle staff shortages and ensuring no one has to sell their home to pay for care.
Commenting on the figures Helen Maguire said: "We need a return to proper local health services. People in Surrey just want strong local health services, but years of Government neglect has caused a GP shortage crisis, leaving people unable to see their local doctor when they need to.
"Liberal Democrats would guarantee people a right to a GP appointment within one week so people can get the care they deserve. Boosting GP numbers would not only help people get appointments, but it would also reduce pressure on our hospitals and paramedics, saving crucial time and money elsewhere in the NHS.
"The local elections are a golden opportunity to send the Government a message they cannot ignore, and elect strong local champions who will stand up for our health services.
"Patients are paying the price for years of neglect under this Conservative Government, who have broken their promise to recruit more GPs. It shows ministers are taking local communities for granted.
"It's time these out-of-touch ministers made good on their promises to hire more doctors, cut waiting times and cleared the backlog."
Notes to Editors
Full analysis from the Liberal Democrats is available here.
The number of active GP surgeries has fallen by 547 in England since January 2019. Official Government data shows the number of 'Open Active GP Surgeries', the reason for closures is not given. Some of this data may include "mergers", however other recent studies have also proven hundreds of GP practices closing across the country in recent years.
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Epsom & Ewell