Horsham and Mid Sussex patients have the second worst GP access
By Alison Bennett, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Arundel and South Downs
Research published by the BBC has revealed that patients of the Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG have the second worst access to a GP in England. In Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, there is one GP for every 2,977 patients, whilst in the area with the best cover, one GP serves 1,200 patients. (The average is one GP for 1,734 patients). The only area worse off than ours is Swale in Kent, with one GP for 3,300 patients.
Getting access to your GP should not be a postcode lottery. However, the data demonstrates that within Arundel and South Downs this is clearly the case. Constituents living in the Coastal West Sussex CCG (e.g. Storrington) have a much better chance of being able to see their GP than those living in Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG (e.g. Hurstpierpoint and Hassocks).
This constituency should be one of the best places to live in the entire country. However, despite all the advantages we have, including a relatively buoyant economy, we have seen significant house-building take place, with almost no new infrastructure, in particular no additional health infrastructure, to support the new residents. We have an ageing population, but new homes also bring additional young families to the area, so we need a full range of medical facilities for all ages.
Without investment in primary healthcare, people will continue to end up in A&E, where services are already under strain, and staffing is getting more difficult as we get closer to leaving the EU.
I have written to Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel & South Downs, asking to meet him so that we can discuss what can be done about such inequity of provision within our constituency.