Access to GPs across London

MQT on 2018-11-22
Session date: 
November 22, 2018
Question By: 
Onkar Sahota
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What are the implications for your Health Inequalities Strategy and social prescribing vision of the inequalities in the number of patients per GP across London?


Access to GPs across London
Access to GPs across London

Access to GPs across London

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The central message of our Health Inequalities Strategy’s is that neither where you live, or your financial circumstances should mean you live in poor health.  Primary Care is central to how Londoners stay healthy and GPs will play a vital role in delivering my strategy and vision.  

My powers as Mayor of London, in relation to the NHS, including general practice are very limited.  However, I’ve committed to championing and challenging the NHS and I recognise that GPs across London face huge pressures and increasing demands on their time.  It’s unacceptable that the widening gap in GP numbers between rich and poor areas means that people in deprived areas can find it harder to access services. We will be looking at the new London Primary Care Strategy at the December meeting (18 December) of the London Health Board.

Our vision for social prescribing will never dictate one approach. We recognise that GP structures and practice size varies greatly across London. City Hall commits to working in partnership with local areas to help them design models that suit their local needs, circumstances, and resources.  

Social prescribing can help reduce the need for GP visits. For example, the East Merton evaluation has demonstrated a 33% reduction in GP visits, a 77% increase in patient well-being and 50% fewer A&E attendances.  In the West London CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups), the evaluation of the 2016/17 pilot showed a reduction in demand with 340 GP appointments avoided that year.

I’m committed to doing everything I can both to support GPs and to encourage them to ensure Londoners get more equal access to healthcare and wellbeing services.