At the first Prime Minister‘s Questions of the New Year, South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous, raised with the Prime Minister the need to make sure that increased general practice capacity is automatically provided alongside major new housing developments.
There are around 8000 new homes being built to the north of Houghton Regis and 6000 new homes being built to the east of Leighton Buzzard and the increase in general practice capacity locally is not keeping pace with the needs these new residents are placing on existing surgeries.
The exchange in Parliament today was as follows
‘Can we remedy the current flawed budgetary process whereby it is possible to build 14,000 new homes in my constituency without any commensurate increase in general practice capacity? As we house the next generation, we must make sure that the infrastructure goes in at the same time.’
‘Yes. I thank my hon. Friend, and he is completely right: we cannot build new homes without putting in the infrastructure to go with it. That is why we have a colossal programme of infrastructure investment—the biggest for a century. That is why we are not only investing in more GPs but investing another £250 million into more GP practices—[Interruption.] The Opposition are cachinnating away as usual. They voted against that spending.’
Speaking afterwards, Andrew said “I have raised this matter repeatedly with health ministers and with treasury ministers, I have now done so with the Prime Minister because the current budget allocation process is broken and we need to do better. I will keep campaigning on this issue until we have a commensurate increase in general practice capacity locally to match the new residents living in the area.”