Family doctor call as patient numbers rise

The average number of patients at GP practices in Northumberland is rising, new figures show.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 9:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 5:05 pm
GP patient numbers concerns

NHS Digital figures show 332,090 patients were registered at the 38 practices in the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group area, as of the end of June – meaning each was dealing with an average of 8,739 patients, – slightly from 8,023 in June 2020.

The number of patients in the area increased by 3,166 over this time, while the number of practices fell by three.

Nationally, 60.8 million patients were registered at 6,571 facilities in June – an average of 9,258 per practice – up 2.4% on a year previously, and the highest figure since comparable quarterly records began in 2015.

The British Medical Association (BMA) say the GP workforce needs to be increased needed.

Richard Vautrey, chairman of the BMA’s GP committee said: “Numbers of GPs are falling while demand rises, leaving us with a severe shortage.

"With a growing and ageing population, only a medical workforce expansion will give us hope that we can offer good quality care to everyone in the future.”

He urged the Government to rapidly grow the medical workforce by at least 31%.

A Department of Health and Social Care said: “We have invested £270m to expand GP capacity, on top of the £1.5bn for extra staff until 2023-24.

“The highest ever number of doctors accepted a place on GP specialty training in 2020 and we are committed to increasing the number of training places available to 4,000 a year."