DDA Board advisor and peer, Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, has quizzed the Government on its plans to protect the adequate provision of GP services in rural areas.
This follows a recent report in the Daily Telegraph which highlighted the loss of village GP surgeries.
In her question, Baroness McIntosh referenced the Daily Telegraph article and highlighted the importance of dispensing to rural practice sustainability. She challenged health minister Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford (Con) to commit to specific support for rural general practices over and above what is already in the NHS long-term plan.
In response Baroness Blackwood said: “Primary and community care will receive at least £4.5 billion more a year by 2023-24. Incentives have been in place since 2016 to attract GP training to hard-to-recruit areas, including rural areas. Furthermore, that NHS England is consulting on allowing digital-first practices to be set up in under-doctored areas. “Digital-first primary care by April 2021 will provide another way for patients in rural areas to access services,” she said.
Baroness McIntosh also reminded the health minister about IT connectivity problems in rural areas.