There has been increased concern regarding inadequate access to GP’s in the Barking, Dagenham and Havering areas. According to a recent press report the borough or Barking and Dagenham has been ranked the third worst place to see a GP in London, and the fourth worst in the country - a position that Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham is eager to see change. This is due in part to an ageing GP workforce, which leads to frequent retirements, as well as a lack of affordable new doctors, and an underfunded Primary Care Trust. Furthermore, there are also a number of practices that are in poor condition and in need of repairs or infection control, along with a large amount of single-handed practices that limit GPs’ ability to meet with patients.
Havering has also been suffering from poor GP accessibility, as it has recently been labelled as the worst borough in all of England for making appointments with GPs, according to the Health Service Journal. There is a large ageing population in the borough - creating an increased demand for GP appointments that has not been met sufficiently, with some patients having to wait a longer than 48 hours for an appointment.
Jon Cruddas MP commented: “There is a clear solution, that with increasing demand for services local GPs should receive increased investment. In the last few years the Tory government have cut back funding to GP surgeries, which I know has impacted areas such as Rainham harder than others due to an already diminished health provision.”
Jon continued: “In the coming weeks and months I will be meeting with the Clinical Commissioning Groups of both Barking and Dagenham and Havering to find out what practical measures they are taking to improve services. It is of paramount importance that my constituents have access to the best possible health care.”