DOCTORS’ surgeries across the Basildon borough are at bursting point – with thousands of homes still to be built.
As Basildon Council prepares to rubber-stamp plans for about 12,000 homes to be built between nowand 2031, the Echo can reveal on average there is just one GP per 2,035 patients – compared to a national average of 1,350.
The shock figures come after the Echo revealed that surgeries in Wickford and Laindon are completely oversubscribed.
With residents complaining they have to wait weeks to see a GP, the NHS is developing a new strategy to cope with the demand, which could include new buildings to ease the burden on its current stock.
The ratios of doctors to patients in the borough are:
- Basildon – one GP per 2,938 patients
- Billericay – one GP per 1,777 patients
- Laindon one GP per 1,935 patients
- Langdon Hills – one GP per 3,015 patients
- Pitsea – one GP per 1,384 patients
- Vange one GP per 3,291 patients
- Wickford – one GP per 1,767 patients
Basildon and Brentwood Clinical Commissioning Group admits there is a problem and the organisation is putting together a five-year health plan for the borough.
In the plan, it will aim to employ more doctors to plug the gaps.
Earlier this week, the Echo reported Wickford could be in for a boost with hopes that the London Road surgery’s £2million relocation to the town centre could bring five extra doctors to the town.
But it is Basildon, Vange, and Langdon Hills that are the worst off – with no surgeries in Nethermayne.
Carolyn Larsen, head of primary care at NHS England Essex said: “NHS England is developing a primary care strategy for Essex.
Underpinning this will be an estates strategy that will drive forward primary care developments.
“We will shortly, alongside clinical commissioning groups, be sharing these strategic plans through a number of public engagement and consultation events.”
Essex’s ratio is one GP per 1,500, with NHS bosses admitting the whole county needs an extra 143 GPs to reach the national average.
Basildon and Brentwood CCG’s five-year plan is due to be unveiled in June.
It is likely to include proposals to increase the number of GPs, ensure more doctors are trained locally, and make services more widely available.
Tom Abell, chief officer of the CCG, said: “We do recognise that primary care services are not currentlyworking as well they could.
We are determined to tackle this.
“A key priority within our plan for the next five years, is to establish excellent primary care