GP access raised with the Prime Minister

South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous yesterday pressed the Prime Minister to ensure that the working practices at our top performing GP practices are copied across the country to ensure everyone gets timely access to a GP surgery.

The exchange in Parliament was as follows:

  • Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire)    

The Prime Minister’s renewed commitment to the NHS is extremely welcome. Recently, the Health and Social Care Committee visited the Larwood House GP surgery in Worksop where, generally, all patients are seen by the doctors the same day. What more can the Government do to make sure that this best practice among GP practices is spread across the whole country so that all of our constituents can get in to see a doctor when they need to?

  •  The Prime Minister

My hon. Friend raises a very important point. One principle underpinning what we will be looking to the NHS to do across its 10-year plan is to ensure that the best practice that we see in many parts of the NHS is indeed spread across the whole of the NHS so that patients are able to get the access and the same standards that they need across the NHS. I commend the work that has been done in the GP surgery to which he has referred ... . This is very important. I also commend work that is being done elsewhere to bring services together to ensure that patients see an improvement in the care and treatment that they receive.

Speaking afterwards Andrew Selous said

“I’m aware that some of our surgeries are short of GPs even though 3,157 medical students went into General Practice this year. While the decision to increase the number of doctors we train by a quarter is good news, it still takes 7 years to train a doctor.

“What impressed me about the Larwood House GP surgery I visited was that they had removed the distinction between routine and emergency appointments and generally saw all patients the same day they contacted the surgery. The doctors had pharmacists, and paramedics, working in the surgery and they had reduced hospital admissions by two thirds, by better management of their patients. I think the GPs at Larwood House have greater job satisfaction because of the way they work.

“I have suggested that our local GP practices might like to visit Larwood House surgery to see whether they could incorporate any of these practices locally.”