A health boss has warned of a “GP time bomb” which could affect thousands of patients in Lancashire.
Twelve out of 39 doctors surgeries in the Greater Preston Clinical Commissioning (CCG) area - almost one in three - are run by lone GPs, many of whom are coming up to retirement age.
Health watchdogs said the situation was “very unusual”, and now fears have been raised that many of the 212,500 residents living between Great Eccleston, Longridge and Preston, could be forced to find new GPs in coming years and suffer under a stretched service.
Coun Dave Wilson, lead member for health on Preston Council, said: “This is a serious concern, what happens when the lone GPs get older? There’s going to be nobody to fill the void and it’s going to put pressure on the other doctors surgeries to take extra patients.”
A spokesman for NHS England (Lancashire), which commissions GP services, acknowledged that there could be a future problem and said: “We are aware of this issue and we are currently working with the local CCG and Health Education England to review the current provision of GP services along with other care providers.”
munity and hospital services.”