Number of Shropshire GPs drops by more than a tenth as patient numbers grow

The number of GPs in the county has fallen by 13 per cent since 2015 despite rising patient numbers, figures show.

Analysis by the House of Commons Library found there has been a 20 per cent rise in the number of patients per GP in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin compared to five years ago.

However, the number of GPs employed in the county has fallen to 245 – a drop of 13 per cent since 2015.

The Liberal Democrats say they obtained the figures after commissioning research on GP shortages from the House of Commons Library.

The analysis shows there was one GP per 2,065 people across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin as of June 2021 – up by a fifth from one per 1,700 people in the area five years ago.

The political party claims the region is one of the worst-hit areas in the country for the growing shortage of GPs, and it is calling on the Government to invest properly in health services.

In recent months there have been complaints from patients in the county who say they have struggled to book appointments with their GP.

Health bosses have responded, saying that services are facing unprecedented pressures, but GPs are conducting face to face appointments where necessary.

Helen Morgan, who is the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate standing in the north Shropshire by-election, claims the Government is "badly letting down patients" in Shropshire and must invest in services.

She said: "Residents deserve a fair deal but instead of fixing the GP shortage crisis, the Conservatives are making it worse by failing to train the new doctors we desperately need.

“Now we are seeing our local hard-working GPs overstretched and people left waiting too long for treatment or even an appointment.

"Our area deserves better than this serious neglect.

“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.”

Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman and deputy leader Daisy Cooper added: “These damning figures show that Government failures have created this crisis in the NHS.

"For years the Conservatives have neglected our GP services, failed to recruit the extra GPs they promised, and have even attacked GPs for simply following government guidance.

“With every part of our health and social care systems stretched to the max, urgent action is needed to boost the NHS workforce and make sure patients get the care they need and deserve.

"Longer-term, that must include recruiting the extra GPs the Conservatives promised, to take pressure off our hospitals and reduce the record numbers of people going to A&E.”

Last month, NHS England announced GPs are to be given an extra £250m to boost the number of appointments heading into this winter.

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