English study shows inequity facing Fermanagh patients

A STUDY in England on distances to GP services access has laid bare the disparity between NHS patients living on both sides of the Irish Sea, particularly here in Fermanagh.

Figures collected by care group Guardian Carers analysed official data to determine the areas of England with the longest distance to GP services.

West Devon was the furthest with a distance sure to instil envy in the majority of local patients here – 3.98km, which is just under two-and-a-half miles. To compare that to a local context, patienst from Roslea, for example, are 21km (13 miles) from their nearest GP service.


The list of the other English areas with the furthest distance can be found below.

Speaking of what are seen as far distances by those in England – but would likely be significantly below average for most patients here – a spokesman for Guardian Carers said, “Many of these rural areas distance to a GP is inflated with the lack of infrastructure compared to more built-up areas. This is especially true if these same areas have limited to no public transport, and in addition, the fluctuating price of fuel in recent years.

“A small check-up can be the difference between a quick and instant treatment to a longer-term health concern and the distance needed to travel to a GP may play an important part in whether people make an appointment however as the winter draws in, spikes in colds, flus and other respiratory illnesses are common and it is expected that the pressure on GP services may increase; distance may not be the only factor affecting a person’s visit to their doctor.”

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