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Former LD leader calls for small surgeries fund

Financial struggles raised in NHS debate

November 15th 2023

Tagged: political news Rurality

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Former Lib Dem party leader Tim Farron has called for a strategic small surgeries fund to support small rural GP surgeries.

Speaking in a debate, Farron was among MPs to criticise the recent King’s Speech for failing to support plans to build an NHS fit for the future. The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP said that rural GPs struggled financially due to the need to cover vast areas. He said: “GP surgeries are of great importance to us.”

During the debate fellow LD MP Helen Morgan (North Shropshire) also raised the issue of access to healthcare in rural areas, describing it as “nigh on impossible without access to their own car”. She also highlighted the need for rural roaming on mobile networks.

Challenging the health secretary, she said: “When will the Conservatives realise that rural Britain is home to 20 per cent of the population and that we are worth investing in, rather than simply taking us for granted?”

She also called on the work and pensions secretary to consider rurality when drawing up NHS and care workforce plans.