Data from the TUC has revealed that NHS Dorset may not have enough GPs to provide thorough care for its patients.
NHS figures have shown a shortfall of 54 GPs within the county.
Between 2015 and 2019, the NHS experienced a two percent decrease in GP numbers and a three percent increase in patients – adding pressure to the already stretched services, according to the Trade Union Congress.
It is recommended by the British Medical Association that surgeries should have around 1,600 patients in their books in order for them to provide the best quality care.
In Dorset, GPs have an average of 1,791 patients on their lists according to data published by NHS Digital.
This comes after changes were announced to the NHS non-emergency 111 service.
Here’s a helpful infographic on the regional decline in GP’s pic.twitter.com/MZ6pnXfcqP
— Buzz News (@buzz_bmth) January 23, 2020
Last year the NHS closed several GP surgeries across the UK. In response to this, the NHS Dorset CCG released a statement to announce the introduction of primary care networks.
This saw surgeries grouping together to provide care to 30,000 to 50,0000 patients and also share resources, staff and expertise more efficiently.
They also announced that they would be increasing investment into new roles such as community pharmacists and social prescribing link workers to support general practices, as well as training more Advanced Nurse Practitioners within GP surgery teams.
The 82 GP practices that once stood in Dorset have now been condensed into 18 primary care networks.