New figures reveal sharp fall in ratio of GPs per person in Bedford

Number of GPs has not increased in SIX years, analysis shows

Bedford is one of the worst hit areas in the country by the growing shortage of GPs, according to new analysis.

It comes as many people are struggling to book an appointment with their GP, with services increasingly under pressure from rising demand.

The figures show there is now just one GP per 2,462 people within the area covered by Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (BLMKCCG) in June 2021, compared to the national average of one GP per 2,038 people.

The number of GPs has not increased in six years

This is up 18 per cent from the one GP per 2,092 people in the same area six years ago.

The number of GPs employed in the area has also fallen by 12 per cent to just 390 in the same period.

Bedford Today is awaiting comment from Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (BLMKCCG).

Further analysis by the British Medical Association (BMA) shows a dismal picture overall for GPs, where there are now 1,803 fewer fully qualified, full-time GPs now than there were in 2015.

The picture is similarly bleak when compared to the UK’s international neighbours. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) stats from 2019 show the UK’s average of three doctors per 1,000 people ranks below Hungary and Czech Republic, and only just ahead of Brazil and Mexico.