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Fears calmed on GP appointments bonus

New figures reveal a five-fold discrepancy in the number of GPs per head of population across the country.

An analysis by market research firm GMAP Consulting found that while Western Isles health board boasted one GP for every 680 patients, Greater Derby PCT scraped by with just per GP for 3,426 patients.

But GPs, managers and Department of Health officials have questioned the veracity of the statistics.

A spokeswoman for Greater Derby PCT, which was well adrift at the bottom of the table, rejected the figures as 'completely inaccurate'.

She said the trust had written to complain to GMAP accusing it of unprofessionalism and calling for a retraction of the report. 'The actual figure is 1,916,' she added.

Neighbouring Central Derby PCT was in the top 30 areas, with one GP per 1,189 patients.

Dr Maureen Baker, honorary secretary of the RCGP, said the survey at least reminded people how many more GPs were needed.

Other under-doctored areas were Doncaster East PCT at 2,286 patients per GP and Amber Valley PCT in Derbyshire at 2,258.

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