Image credit: Matt Buck (via Flickr)

Patients in the East Midlands face a greater challenge to see a GP than in almost any other area of the UK.

There are 55.2 GPs per 100,000 people in the East Midlands, compared to 68.8 and 61.7 per 100,000 people in the South West and North East, according to BBC figures.

Only North West London and the East of England have fewer GPs than the East Midlands.

The average figure for England is 58.1 GPs per 100,000 people.

The numbers come amidst news that the NHS is weathering the first sustained fall in GP numbers in the UK for 50 years.

This situation has worsened by an ageing population and the growing demands which are placed on doctors.

Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South, raised the issue of falling GP numbers in the East Midlands earlier this month.

Speaking in Westminster, Greenwood told the Minister for Health, Stephen Hammond, that there are 720 fewer GPs in the East Midlands compared to two years ago.

She also spoke out about the issue on Twitter.

She said: “Thousands of patients in Nottingham wait more than four weeks to see their GP.

“No wonder GPs are overwhelmed and our Emergency Department at QMC is under huge pressure – last resort when primary care simply isn’t available.”

Sam Webster, councillor for the Castle ward in Nottingham, also spoke out about the fall in GP numbers.

He said: “Dear East Midlands residents, you’re not being particularly well served by Government when it comes to getting a GP appointment.”