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Number of GP Practices Falls to Record Low - Medway Liberal Democrats

December 1, 2019 9:24 AM
By Medway Liberal Democrats - Alan Wells
surgeryRecent NHS figures have revealed that nationally the number of GP practices has fallen to a new record low of 6,867 while the number of qualified GPs has dropped by 339. The Liberal Democrats have warned that the Conservative Party's failure to meet its promise to address the shortfall in GPs has left the country poorly equipped to deal with the upcoming winter crisis.
In Kent and Medway all clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have lower numbers of GPs than the national average - For more information: https://kentandmedway.nhs.uk/latest-news/gp-practices-in-kent-and-medway/
Graham Colley, Liberal Democrat candidate for Rochester and Strood said: "People across Medway are struggling to get appointments and will be appalled to see the number of GPs and practices continuing to fall. The Conservatives have completely failed to keep their promise to increase the number of GPs and have now plucked an even greater number out of the air.

"People depend on GP practices for their front-line care. Both patients and the primary care workforce have been badly let down by this government and the situation in General Practice will make for a very difficult winter across the NHS.

"People deserve better. The Liberal Democrats would properly invest in our NHS, reverse the damaging impact of under-investment in primary care and build a brighter future. We have a credible plan to increase the number of GPs and invest in social care, so we can take the pressure off our overstretched hospitals and A&E departments."


Notes to editors
Statistics for September 2019 reveal:
  • The number of GP practices in England has fallen to 6,867, a decrease of 270 (3.8%) compared to the previous year and the lowest number since records began in 1995.
  • The number of full-time equivalent GPs in England fell to 28,315 in September 2019, down 339 (1.2%) compared to the previous year.
  • The amount of GP time available per patient in England has dropped by almost 10% over the past four years, from 60.5 minutes a year in 2015 to just 55.2 a minutes a year in 2019.

In the run-up to the 2015 general election, then health secretary Jeremy Hunt promised an extra 5,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs by 2020/21.

In Kent and Medway:

NHS digital figures on the number of GPs and appointments can be found here.



The number of GP practices is at its lowest since 1995, the earliest year for which comparable figures are available:


Additional Notes for Editors:
Graham Colley
Graham Colley is the President of Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association.

He was educated at Nottingham High School, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and the College of Europe, Bruges. He has an MBA from City University (Cass) Business School and an LLM from University of Kent.

Whilst a student he helped Geraint Howells MP in Ceredigion.

After helping Simon Hughes'election in the famous Bermondsey by-election, Graham became candidate in Mid-Kent in 1987 and 1992. He was a county councillor for Medway South.

Graham has been a lifelong European activist. He set up the Aberystwyth Group for Europe, whilst at university and was a youth officer in the 1975 Referendum.

Graham was number sevenon the London list in the highly successful European Election campaign in May 2019, in which saw three Lib Dem candidates elected as MEPs.

A former Legal Aid lawyer in London and Chatham, he is now a solicitor in private practice in Rochester.

He is a member of the Lloyd George Society and has a continuing interest in Wales and is learning Welsh.

He is a keen touring cyclist and has only driven his car for 4000 miles in three years, preferring to, where possible, use train and bike.