Milton Keynes is the worst place in the country for GP shortages, report claims

    A new report by the TUC trade union has revealed that the Milton Keynes and Luton areas have the biggest shortage of GPs in the whole of the UK.

    The Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Luton combined health area currently has 43% fewer GPs than required to meet demand, according to the findings released today.

    441 GPs are currently working in our area, but campaigners claim that 630 are required in order to fully meet local demand.

    Nationally, GPs are seeing a 26% increase in the number of patients requiring an appointment since 2010, but the number of GPs nationally has increased by just 9%.

    It comes as tens of thousands of people are preparing to join a large protest today in London, to mark the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service.

    The new report claims that no area of the UK has the right amount of GPs to meet demand, with the area with the best provision being Dorset where a 4% shortfall in GP numbers exists.

    Commenting on the findings, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady told The Guardian: “Underfunding has left the NHS on the critical list. There are too few doctors, too few beds and too few healthcare staff.

    “The best medicine for the NHS is the extra funding it needs, but the government is giving it too small a dose to bring it up to full health.

    “We’re sending a message to the government that our NHS needs a better deal and it must be publicly owned and provided so that every penny goes to patient care and not to private profits.”

    A Department of Health spokesperson commented: “As part of our long-term plan for the NHS we will increase funding by an average 3.4% per year – meaning that by 2023/24 it will receive £20.5bn a year more than it currently does."

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