NHS Trust: West Midlands have just over half the number of GPs for their population, according to data

Birmingham and Solihull trust have just under 65 GPs per 100,000 patients, whilst Black Country and West Birmingham have slightly less at just under 60 GPs per 100,000 patients

Some areas in England are having to get by with half the number of GPs for their population compared to others, analysis of NHS figures shows.

Birmingham and Solihull trust have just under 65 GPs per 100,000 patients, whilst Black Country and West Birmingham have slightly less at just under 60 GPs per 100,000 patients.

The Nuffield Trust, which published the analysis of NHS figures, said the “stark differences” show up NHS failings.

The Royal College of GPs has warned that while there is a national shortage of GPs, some areas “face greater difficulties” recruiting much-needed staff.

Luckily, the Government said a record number of people started training as GPs last year.

In Birmingham and Solihull, there are 856.3 GPs, with 153098 patients are registered across the trust.

This means that there are 63.4 GPs per 10,000 patients.

Also according to the April data, the Black Country and West Birmingham trust has slightly more GPs and slighly more patients.

However, they still only have 58.2 GPs per 100,000 patients - as the trust has 878 GPs, and 1508735 patients.

The lowest number of GPs for its population is seen in Portsmouth, where they have 39.5 GPs per 100,000 patients.

The West Midlands area is far from the Wirral trust who have 80.7 GPs per 100,000 patients.

Abstract hospital in blur background (Credit boophuket - stock.adobe.com)

Nuffield Trust Senior Fellow, Billy Palmer said: "These disparities mean people in some areas are less able to access their family doctor than people elsewhere.

“In an NHS founded on the principle of equal treatment, such stark differences represent a serious failing."

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “The size of the fully-qualified GP workforce is falling whilst the number of patients continues to grow – as a result, the ratio of patients to GPs has increased significantly over recent years.

“Whilst this is happening across the country, some regions are being affected worse than others as they face greater difficulties recruiting new GPs and other staff.”

He called on the Government to “make good on its manifesto promise of 6,000 more full time equivalent GPs” by 2024.

He said: “GPs want to be able to consistently give their patients the care they deserve, no matter where they live in the country, but the intense workload and workforce pressures facing general practice are unsustainable.”

The Department of Health and Social Care said the number of GPs was rising and thousands were being trained each year.

A spokesperson said: “We are hugely grateful for the care GPs and their staff provide to patients and we are working hard to support and grow the workforce.

“There were over 1,400 more doctors working in general practice in March 2022 compared to the same time in 2019 and a record-breaking number started training as GPs last year.

“We have invested £520 million to expand GP capacity during the pandemic, on top of £1.5 billion until 2024 and we are making 4,000 training places available for GPs each year, helping to create an extra 50 million appointments a year.”

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