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Conservatives have cut 4,500 GPs in the last decade

Patients in England are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment, after a decade of Tory mismanagement of the NHS has left England with almost 4,500 fewer GPs than a decade ago, Labour has warned.

Analysis of NHS data shows there were 32,200 GPs in 2013, which has fallen to 27,700 today, a reduction of 4,459 GPs.

In their 2019 manifesto, the Conservatives promised to hire 6,000 more GPs, but Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, has since admitted that the government is breaking its promise. Since the Conservatives made that promise at the general election, more than 300 GP practices have closed.

The findings come as Labour following a debate in Parliament on the crisis in primary care in Britain, tabling a motion calling on the Health Secretary to bring forward a plan to recruit the doctors which were promised at the last election.

It comes as research by the Nuffield Trust published in The Times recently showed Portsmouth has been the worst-hit area by the wider national fall in GPs since 2015, with just 40 GPs per 100,000 people, figures raised by the Portsmouth South representative when speaking in the House of Commons.

The debate also saw city MP Stephen Morgan call on Government to also take action on the crisis in NHS dentistry.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“Long before the pandemic, our NHS was already struggling to cope with the level of demand for its services, but things have just gone from to bad worse in Portsmouth under this Government.

“Multiple GP closures, record numbers of people waiting for care and waiting longer than ever before means my postbag is filling up with concerns over a range on access to local health services.

“As I said in Parliament this week, our city has become a new healthcare hell for patients. This is the record of this Tory government.

“I will keep pushing Ministers to listen to the people of Portsmouth, intervene, clear the backlog and finally delivers the NHS services our city needs and deserves.”

Wes Streeting MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, added:

“People are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment when they need one, leaving them in pain and discomfort and meaning serious conditions will be missed.

“As the Culture Secretary recently admitted, a decade of Conservative mismanagement left our NHS ‘wanting and inadequate’ before Covid hit. Now the Conservatives are breaking their promise to hire the GPs we need.

“The longer we give the Conservatives, the longer patients wait. Labour will put patients first and make sure they can be seen on time.”