Primary Care: North Essex — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:00 pm on 14th March 2017.

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Photo of Douglas Carswell Douglas Carswell UKIP, Clacton 4:00 pm, 14th March 2017

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely spot on. This is a cumulative problem that has been allowed to get worse over decades—perhaps a generation or more. I am often struck how some of the GP surgeries in my constituency are located in what started out as residential houses built in the 1930s. There has simply not been the investment that was needed over a long period of time. That is also part of the problem. To be fair to GPs, if we do not provide attractive surroundings and surgeries, people are not going to want to work in those 1930s houses. If anyone in the district council is listening, I urge them to take that into account when talking about new planning for the area. Some top-quality, first-rate surgeries in which GPs are happy to work would go some way to addressing the problem.

I am incredibly grateful to the Minister for coming along to respond, and to the hon. Members for Harwich and North Essex (Mr Jenkin) and for Colchester (Will Quince), who are committed to this issue and have done a lot of work for their constituents. I hope to hear from the Minister not only about how we can get more GPs in our area but about the reforms we need to change the way people obtain primary care, so that they are no longer supplicants standing in a queue to receive care on the system’s terms but valued patients who get the care they need when they need it.