Local GP funding slashed in West Essex

18 Feb 2024
GP Funding Slashed

Funding for GP practices in West Essex which includes the whole of Uttlesford District has been slashed by £8 per patient in real terms since 2019 research commissioned by local Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the North West Essex constituency Smita Rajesh said:

“From my discussions on the doorsteps in Saffron Walden last weekend it is clear that families and pensioners in West Essex are currently struggling to see their GP despite being in need of medical advice. It is leaving people waiting in pain or simply anxious about not getting the care they need.

“It is not right that our community is suffering the consequences of this Conservative government’s neglect of local health services.

“Rishi Sunak and his failing government is totally out of touch with people’s concerns.

“Seeing your GP should be at the heart of our NHS. That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for a legal right to see a GP within seven days or 24-hours if in urgent need. This would be achieved by increasing the number of fully qualified GPs by 8,000 with an initiative to boost recruitment and retain more experienced doctor.”

The House of Commons Library analysis looks at funding for General Practices over the past four years once inflation is taken into account. It shows that funding per patient across the local NHS Integrated Care Board ICB area, including most of North West Essex constituency, has fallen by 4.9% since 2019.

It comes despite growing demand for GP services with patients in West Essex often having to wait weeks to get an appointment.

Nationally, GP practices have received a 6.9% real terms cut in funding per patient since 2019, whilst NHS waiting lists are now at near record numbers at 7.6 million.

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