October 31, 2007 12:36 PM
Local Residents and Ron beadle campaigning for a new surgery in Lemington

Ron Beadle with Lemington residents campaigning for a GPs surgery

A senior Liberal Democrat, Ron Beadle, has discovered that Newcastle has lost a quarter of its GP practices in the past decade. The number of practices has fallen from 51 to 38 and the number of GPs has sunk from 156 to 148 since Labour came to power.

Access to dental practices has also fallen. In 2001 there were 64 dental practices in Newcastle. There are now only 49. 1 in 4 of the practices have been lost in just six years.

The result is that people have to travel further and wait longer. In the west of the city Lemington residents have neither a GP nor a doctor. Ron Beadle and the Liberal Democrats have launched a petition calling for the Primary Care Trust to restore a GPs surgery and this is gaining wide support.

One local resident, Karla Cowie said:

"Why should I have to take a bus to get my poorly child to the doctor?"

Ron Beadle agrees: "Local people pay for and should get a decent local health service." The campaigner has now asked the Council to review the number and location of GP practices across the city.