NHS figures are a tonic for county

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HEALTHY Suffolk has fewer patients on the books of GPs than many other parts of the country, according new figures released.

Each doctor in the county has an average of about 1,500 patients, fewer than parts of neighbouring Essex, Great Yarmouth and Waveney and about 100 below the national average.

The figures have been released by the Department of Health.

But an NHS Suffolk spokeswoman said they were less interested in the numbers registered to each GP than the service provided.

She said: “We are obviously a healthy county.

“We don’t register how many people are registered to a GP because we are more concerned with the health outcomes.”

The focus was on coping with an ageing population and encouraging people to get and keep fit. The figures also did not allow for nurse practitioners who delivered health care in many surgeries, she said.

The 408 family doctors in Suffolk are responsible for an average of 1,514 patients each, according to the Department of Health.

The Suffolk NHS spokeswoman said: “It is not just about numbers, it is about the general health of an area, urban deprivation and geography.”

An important factor was whether patients were happy with the service provided. Suffolk had the highest satisfaction rate in the East of England.