Cumbrian MP urges Health Secretary to support small rural GP surgeries
On the floor of the House of Commons this week, local MP Tim Farron encouraged the Government to set up a fund to help rural GP surgeries in the South Lakes.
Speaking during Health Questions, Tim said: "GP surgeries often serve huge geographical areas with relatively small patient numbers. Coniston, for example, has a roll of about 900 patients, yet the next nearest surgery is two lakes away.
"Will the Secretary of State commit to establishing a strategic small surgeries fund to ensure that small surgeries in rural communities remain sustainable for the long term?"
In response the Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested that technology could be the answer in supporting rural GP surgeries, and there was "great enthusiasm" for using technology so that "the travelling times of patients and sometimes of GPs can be reduced".
Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "The Secretary of State's response was very disappointing.
"Our small rural GP surgeries are facing huge funding challenges and so simply saying technology is the warts and all solution will not cut it."