GPS are ON THE EDGE due to unfair rationing of resources to rural areas..
Sir, While endorsing the points in your leading article “Town v Country” (Feb 7), neither it nor the related article “Give rural areas more funds or face revolt, May told” referred to rural NHS general practice.
Of necessity, rural practices provide a wider range of services than their urban counterparts, including treatment of minor injuries. They are also permitted to dispense medicines because community pharmacies can be less viable in remote locations. The income cross-subsidises the GP service.
Rural deprivation is often as acute as in urban areas, but the NHS funding formulae do not adequately cater for it. Current NHS reforms are too urban-centric, indeed The Five Year Forward View does not even refer to rural healthcare.
Anne Marie Morris, MP, has recently established an all-party parliamentary group on rural health and social care. One aim is to ensure that there is a fairer deal for rural communities and their GP practices. I hope the government takes note and acts to avoids a rift between town and country.
Dr Richard West, Chairman, Dispensing Doctors’ Association, Woolpit Health Centre, Bury St Edmunds
A rebellion is brewing against what is seen in rural Britain as a longstanding bias towards inner cities in funding for schools, education and social care. The prime minister may feel that she cannot afford to appease the rebels because there is not enough money to go round, but she cannot afford to ignore them either. Their leaders are on her own backbenches, and their arguments are compelling….