December 9, 2019 4.51 pm This story is over 52 months old

Nearly 220 GPs needed to bring Lincolnshire up to ‘safe levels’

The Trade Union Congress has said that there is a healthcare crisis

Lincolnshire is in a “healthcare crisis” and needs 218 more GPs to bring the county up to safe working levels, according to unions.

Trade Union Congress released a report on Monday which claimed that there are fewer GPs but demand has risen in Lincolnshire with the number of registered patients.

The number of full-time GPs, excluding registrars, from 2015 to 2019 has fallen by an average of 9% while the number of registered patients has risen by an average of 3%.

British Medical Association doctors have said that the average number of patients that GPs should have on their list is 1,600 in order to have safe working practices.

In September the average number of patients per GP was at 2,100 across the country, but that number rises to 2,303 when looking at Lincolnshire alone.

The ambulance queue at Lincoln County Hospital. Photo: The Lincolnite

Frances O’Grady, TUC, said: “The Conservatives promised a big increase in GP numbers. But on their watch, the number of doctors has fallen while demand has increased.

“Our hardworking and overstretched GPs are working tirelessly to help patients. But there are simply not enough of them to keep up with demand.

“As a result, patients are not getting the treatments they need on time. And family doctors are stressed and overwhelmed.

“The next government must invest in our NHS and boost GP numbers.”

Over the past few years in Lincoln, both the Walk-In-Centre on Monks Road and Skellingthorpe’s GP have closed.

Doctor Catherine Ash, GP partner at The Glebe Practice even cited a lack of local doctors as one of the main reasons for Skellingthorpe losing its practice.

Meanwhile, Lincoln County Hospital has over the past month been “in crisis” with some people needing to wait 20 hours to be seen.