Patients facing ‘postcode lottery’ with huge GP disparities across England

A doctor writing out a prescription
Support us and go ad-free

Patients are facing a “postcode lottery” over seeing a GP in England, with the worst-affected areas served by half the number of doctors as the best.

Disparity

New analysis has shown that there is on average one GP per 2,038 people across the country, a 5% rise since 2015. But there are also huge disparities across England, with some areas seeing an increase of around 40% in people per GP over the same period.

GP forms
Some areas are seeing disparities of up to 40% (Anthony Devlin/PA)

It means Hull now has one GP for every 2,821 people, more than double the 1,279 people per GP in Wirral. The Liberal Democrats, who commissioned the analysis, have called on the government to train more GPs. Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

These figures reveal a postcode lottery of care that is leaving people struggling to get GP appointments or waiting weeks to be seen. But instead of fixing the GP shortage crisis, the Conservatives are making it worse by failing to train the new doctors we desperately need.

She added:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

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.

A GP takes blood pressure readings
The Lib Dems have urged the Government to train more doctors (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The areas with the highest numbers of inhabitants per GP are Fylde and Wyre (2,833), Hull (2,761), Calderdale (2,606), Thurrock (2,592), and Portsmouth (2,559).

The lowest five are Liverpool (1,614), Oxfordshire (1,688), Wirral (1,720), West Suffolk (1,731), and East Staffordshire (1,745).

The figures are based on research by the House of Commons Library commissioned by the Liberal Democrats. The stats do not include trainee GPs, and are based on the population in each area rather than the number of registered patients.

Recent analysis from the BMA shows there are over 1,800 fewer fully qualified, full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs now than there were in 2015. Between June 2020 and July 2021, the number of GP partners fell by 918.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us