Department of Health and Social Care
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New practices for under-doctored areas

New practices for under-doctored areas

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release (2007/0335) issued by The Government News Network on

Health Secretary Alan Johnson today drove forward plans to tackle long-standing inequalities in family doctor provision by announcing the under-doctored areas in England that will benefit from new GP practices.

In a speech to the NHS Alliance conference in Manchester the Health Secretary announced 38 primary care trusts (PCTs) who have been identified as having the poorest GP provision and will be the first to benefit from plans to deliver 100 new GP practices over the next three years.

Areas with the fewest GPs have worst health outcomes and greater deprivation. The gaps in provision can be as much as 43 GPs per 100,000 people compared with 88 GPs in other areas.

The new practices announced today will increase capacity in places that need it most and offer a range of innovative services, such as extended opening hours and extended practice boundaries, as well as increasing patient choice.

PCTs based in the North West, North East, West Midlands, London and East of England Strategic Health Authorities are among those who will benefit the most.

Alan Johnson said:

"Improving access to primary care is a key priority if we are to deliver more personalised care that meets the needs of individuals and communities, especially those in more disadvantaged or deprived areas.

"Evidence shows there is a direct link between low numbers of GP surgeries and poor health within a community. That is why we are increasing the number of family doctors services in these areas.

"This is not just about building extra primary care capacity but developing high-quality, responsive services with a strong focus on prevention. This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurial GPs as well as social enterprises and the independent sector to develop innovative services for patients."

The first practices are expected to open to patients in a year's time and will be funded from the £250 million access fund announced last month. The access fund will also provide at least 150 GP-led health centres across the country.

Relevant PCTs will now work with clinicians and the public to develop patient services that reflect local needs and then look to potential providers to come forward with innovative proposals.


1. The full list of PCTs are: Manchester, Barking and Dagenham, Knowsley, Sandwell,Wolverhampton City, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, Liverpool, Sunderland Teaching, Birmingham East and North, Halton and St Helens, Heart of Birmingham Teaching, Barnsley, Leicester City, Oldham, Blackburn with Darwen, Stoke on Trent, Hounslow, Hull, Nottingham City, Blackpool, Ashton, Leigh and Wigan, Dudley, Bolton, Greenwich Teaching, Sefton, Medway Teaching, Salford, Hartlepool, Tameside and Glossop, Walsall Teaching, Newcastle, Redcar and Cleveland, South Tyneside, Calderdale, North Lancashire, Luton Teaching, Havering and Hammersmith and Fulham.

2. The Department of Health will hold a national conference on Thursday 13 Dec in London for commissioners and providers to discuss advancing plans for increased numbers of GP surgeries and GP led health centres.

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