Analysis out today has shown that the number of GPs per 100,000 fell to just 60 last year, down from nearly 65 in 2014.
Think tank, the Nuffield Trust produced the figures for the BBC which show the first sustained drop in GP numbers for 50 years. This, at a time when there is increased pressure on GPs amid changes to the NHS and an ageing population.
Musculoskeletal (MSK) problems are addressed in 1 in 8 GP appointments, and an estimated 29% of the UK population live with an MSK condition. As MSK specialists, chiropractors have a key role to play in relieving some of this pressure, but still in a First Contact role, providing ease for access for patients.
Catherine Quinn, President of the British Chiropractic Association, said: “Today’s research shows just how important it is for GPs and First Contact Practitioners such as chiropractors to work together to relieve the pressures on primary care services.
Some of our members work closely with the NHS and support GPs when they receive referrals, but this number needs to increase. For example, we know that 80% of people in the UK will suffer with back and neck issues during their lifetime and, of those, 32% will visit their local GP as the first action, when they could see a chiropractor instead. Raising greater awareness about the support services available will help people move away from automatically choosing GPs as the first port of call.”
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