The first link for the vast majority of people with the NHS is their local doctors’ general practice surgery and it is critical that this continues to be the case, despite the most severe pressure this aspect of healthcare finds itself facing.
It is my firm opinion that the provision of GP services ought not to be reduced, but in fact increased, although sadly this does not seem to be the case. We have all read about GP services disappearing in rural practices and now it appears that this trend is spreading even into our urban areas.
I have recently been made aware of a possible reduction in the only remaining GP service in Newbiggin, which is, quite naturally, concerning people living in the town.
In a recent town council survey the number one priority expressed by many people was an improvement in healthcare provision, not a reduction.
Very shortly I will be having a meeting with Mr Matt Brown, head of primary care at NHS England, to discuss the provision of healthcare in my Wansbeck constituency, and Newbiggin residents can be assured that I will be raising their concerns with him.
I will also be expressing my firm opinion that the NHS may need to step in to solve the recruitment and retention crisis surrounding GPs to ensure that this very grass roots provision of healthcare continues to be readily available to everyone in our communities.