Map: Which parts of England have the most patients per GP?

Some CCG areas in England have almost twice as many full-time equivalent (FTE), fully-qualified GPs per patient as others, analysis by GPonline reveals.

GP consultation (Photo: Getty Images/sturti)

NHS Medway CCG, in Kent, has a total of 2,917 patients per FTE fully-qualified GP - the highest number of patients per GP in the country.

In Nottinghamshire's NHS Rushcliffe CCG, however, there are just 1,597 patients per FTE fully-qualified GP - the lowest number in England - according to GPonline analysis of data published by NHS Digital.

The findings demonstrate a deep regional divide in how the GP shortage affects patients across England. Click on the map below to find out how your area compares.

This latest analysis of regional variation in GP shortages comes as official figures from NHS Digital revealed that the NHS workforce in England lost 340 FTE, fully-qualified GPs in the year to September 2019 - a 1.2% drop.

Over the four years since then health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt promised in 2015 to recruit an extra 5,000 FTE GPs, the number of FTE, fully-qualified GPs has dropped by 1,088.

Regional variation in patients per GP does not reflect entirely variation in workload for GPs, because factors such as age, deprivation and disease prevalence play a key role in determining workload.

However, it is clearly a significant contributing factor - and GPonline has shown previously that many of the areas with the highest numbers of patients per GP also have high numbers of older patients.

Several of the major political parties have included promises to increase numbers of GPs in their manifestos ahead of the 12 December general election.

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