9 July 2002
Patients are facing a postcode lottery of GP services across the UK, according to a report from the Audit Commission.
It says inner city areas are likely to have fewer doctors and poorer
facilities. GP numbers are increasing but not fast enough to meet NHS Plan
targets. The report says shorter hospital stays and increasing numbers
of elderly patients are putting GPs under increasing
This is intensified by having to monitor more specialist drugs and treatments and by patients demanding quicker service and more say in their own care. The report came as the Government announced that, compared with 1997, there are now 39,000 more nurses, 5,000 more consultants and 1,500 more GPs.