Clacton; MP calls for action to boost number of GPs
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An MP has called on the government to help increase the number of doctors in his part of north Essex.
MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, says his constituents are struggling to make an appointment with a GP when they need them and there are fears that some surgeries may have to close because of a shortage of doctors.
Mr Carswell recently arranged for a group of doctors from the area to travel to London to meet Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to talk about some of the challenges they face in a region where there is a high proportion of retired patients.
Topics discussed included the need for more doctors and the role district nurses could play in alleviating the pressure on GPs by delivering care to patients in their homes.
Mr Carswell said: “Despite all the money that goes into primary care, my constituents can’t always see a GP when they need one.
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“The Kirby Cross surgery could close due to a lack of staff, while there are chronic problems in Walton and Frinton. Green Elms surgery in Clacton has also been over-reliant on locum doctors for a long time, although things have got better there of late.”
He added: “There’s not enough patient power in the health system at the moment – the health service has for too long been run for the convenience of GPs and government - not for the people whose taxes pay for the service.”
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The government recently announced it was training an additional 2,000 GPs and Mr Carswell has requested that some of these are sent to the Clacton area.
He said: “It is not just about raw numbers. Talking to local doctors, I understand that many highly able doctors working in hospitals, who might want to become GPs, are in effect prevented from doing so. It is right that the government is increasing the number of GPs but we also need to ensure that we do not overlook able medical professionals who already have much to offer”.