Lack of GP infrastructure 'a life and death issue' says Leighton Buzzard MP as he tells Prime Minister of dad-of-four's missed cancer diagnosis

Leighton Buzzard's MP urged the Prime Minister to ensure that infrastructure can cope with new housing developments, citing the devastating case of a father whose cancer diagnosis came too late.

By Jo Robinson
Monday, 27th June 2022, 10:26 am

Andrew Selous, representing South West Bedfordshire, raised the story of Stanbridge father-of-four, Richard Paice, at Prime Minister's Questions on June 15.

Mr Paice's cancer was diagnosed too late by his local GP and hospital, with Mr Selous emphasising that a lack of infrastructure is a "life and death issue".

He told Prime Minister Boris Johnson: "Many areas like mine have already had massive new housing development with no commensurate increase in general practice capacity. At one of my surgeries, which has double the recommended number of patients per GP, the cancer diagnosis of a 51-year-old father of four was missed and is now terminal.

Andrew Selous MP (left) at the Rebuild General Practice event. Right: Richard and Sasha Paice. Photos: Andrew Selous MP/The Paice family.

"Getting this right is a life and death issue, so will the Prime Minister make sure that parts of the country that have already had massive new housing growth get the commensurate increase in general practice capacity that is only right and fair?”

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The Prime Minister replied: "Yes, of course. We have 6,000 more doctors, 1,200 more GPs than this time last year and 11,800 more nurses, but we must make sure that areas with sensitive new development have the infrastructure and services, particularly medical services, that they need.

"The NHS has a statutory duty to take account of population growth. I know my hon. Friend has met my right hon. Friend the Health Secretary, and I will take this up personally to make sure we get a proper approach to this very important issue."

Mr Paice's wife, Sasha, told the LBO: "People were amazed that it got to parliament. We are so grateful."

On June 15, Mr Selous was also one of 21 MPs who attended the Rebuild General Practice campaign parliamentary drop-in event in Westminster Hall, which was hosted by GPs.

The campaign calls for more support to Rebuild General Practice which it states must include: "Recruitment: The U.K. Government delivering on its commitment of an additional 6,000 GPs in England by 2024.

"Retention: tackling the factors driving GPs out of the profession including burn out and abuse.

"Safety: A plan to reduce GP workload and in turn improve patient safety."

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