The NHS is slowly imploding. In East Cheshire, local GP surgeries are fighting for survival because of chronic under-funding by successive governments. This site has been set up by local NHS GP surgeries to let patients know the growing threat to their local health services.

Click here to see how East Cheshire residents are being cheated.

**The auditors (Deloitte) have now been called in to assess East Cheshire CCG**

East Cheshire Patients Are Cheated

Antiquated, over-complicated and bureaucratic funding formulae have left NHS services in areas such as East Cheshire significantly short-changed for many years. Here is a simplified explanation of how the population of East Cheshire has been discriminated against by numerous governments over the years. As a result,  your NHS services are now at breaking point, with your front-line GP practices bearing the brunt of chronic under-funding.

Government funding allocations don’t take much notice of ageing populations

NHS England’s own publication, Five Year Forward View, highlighted that the cost of providing healthcare is directly related to the age of the population. Ageing populations need more referrals to hospital, more medication and more care from GP surgeries.

Quite simply, the costs of providing healthcare rise dramatically as the age of the elderly population increases as the graph below, from the BBC, illustrates.

Taken from BBC News Website, Feb 2017. Source IFS.

FACT: East Cheshire has the fastest ageing population in North West (2016).

Residents over the age of 75: East Cheshire has 951 more than its peers.

Residents over the age of 85: East Cheshire has 538 more than its peers.

Residents over the age of 95: East Cheshire has 72 more than its peers.

  • By way of context this equates to £1.75m more expenditure in acute services; compared to national Peers (£9.64m compared to the national average).
  • The same principle could be applied to most other areas of healthcare spend, eg. Continuing Health Care, Funded Nursing Care, Prescribing, Community services, etc.
  • It is obvious that East Cheshire residents are being treated grossly unfairly compared to residents in other parts of the country.

Solution: Fairer allocation of funding to NHS Services in East Cheshire based on actual demand for healthcare.

Government funding allocations discriminate against areas it perceives to be “affluent.”

In terms of funding allocations per resident, East Cheshire is in the bottom 20% of England. Money is channeled to areas perceived to have a higher healthcare NEED despite all the evidence showing that the DEMAND for healthcare is actually higher in areas with larger elderly populations such as “affluent” East Cheshire. Whilst it is essential that governments address health inequalities, this cannot and should not be done at the expense of East Cheshire residents who continue to be chronically short changed, with their NHS services now beginning to fail as a result.

East Cheshire taxpayers attract approximately £1182 of NHS funding  per resident per year (2016-2017). Nearby Knowsley taxpayers attract approximately £1610 of NHS funding per resident per year. Some other nearby areas fare even better. It cannot be right that, whilst historically underfunded East Cheshire is constantly in a spiral of growing deficit, other areas in the North West with younger populations are left with yearly budgetary under-spends.

At a GP Practice level, funding variations produced by blunt allocation formulae can be stark. Many GP Surgeries in East Cheshire have  a “weighting” applied to the funding they receive for each registered patient. Some practices in East Cheshire receive just £100 per patient per year, well below the national average as illustrated below. GP surgeries are understaffed and overstretched with some struggling to survive. GPs are taking early retirement and others are migrating to work in other areas or even other countries where healthcare is not under as much financial pressure.

Discriminatory funding allocations, at both a CCG and GP practice level, now pose a serious threat to the health of East Cheshire residents. It’s time for politicians to understand this and address this unfairness as soon as possible, before its too late.

Solution: Stop the use of unfair funding formulae which deprive the hard-working tax-payers of East Cheshire of NHS Services. Base funding on actual demand for healthcare.

See what you can do to help save NHS Services in East Cheshire by clicking here


GP State of Emergency

The Challenges facing General Practice in East Cheshire

Politicians in denial

  • Successive governments have failed to address the inexorably rising demand for free-at-the-point-of-delivery healthcare. Politicians continue to promise unlimited, 24-hour, personalised care but refuse to fund it adequately. The Government keeps promising the public a Bentley but funds a Robin Reliant and then blames everyone else when the very efficient Robin Reliant fails to meet hyped-up expectations.
  • No government has had the courage to have an honest discussion with the electorate regarding affordability or funding. Instead, successive governments have rationed healthcare by stealth as is the case increasingly in East Cheshire.

Changing population

  • Since the NHS was founded there has been a substantial demographic shift in the UK, with the number of people over the age of 65 significantly increasing. There are now over 11 million people over the age of 65 (by 2040 it is expected one in four people will be in this age range) and more than 1.5 million people are over 85. The number of people aged over 100 has risen by 72 per cent in the past decade.
  • By 2021, more than one million people are predicted to be living with dementia and by 2030 three million people will be living with or have survived cancer. By 2035 there are expected to be an additional 550,000 cases of diabetes and 400,000 additional cases of heart disease in England. The number of people with multiple long-term conditions is set to grow from 1.9 to 2.9 million from 2008 to 20185.
  • 18 million patients in the UK are estimated to suffer from a chronic condition, with the majority managed in the community by GPs. Around 53 per cent of all patients in England report having long standing health conditions, many of which will be treated at some stage by GPs.
  • The increase in the proportion of older people will have a significant impact on health and social care services, which are intrinsically linked to GP services. Annual costs of health and social care, as well as the time and effort needed to provide effective care from GPs are significantly greater for older people and the number of elective and non-elective hospital admissions has also increased. It is predicted that the number of older people with care needs will rise by more than 60% over the next 20 years.
  • As well as an older population, there is evidence that the patient population as a whole is getting more complex and suffering from a greater number of conditions that require increased time and resources to treat in the community. Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has more than doubled from 1.4 million to almost 3.5 million, while it is estimated that by 2050 obesity is predicted to affect 60% of adult men, 50% of adult women and 25% of children.
  • East Cheshire is affected by these demographic changes more than most other regions. As a result, it’s services are under more pressure and struggling more to cope.

Demand, workload and financial challenges facing general practice

  • There has been an estimated 15 per cent increase in the number of GP appointments between 2011 and 2014 with at the last count around 340 million consultations undertaken every year in England.
  • The average member of the public sees a GP six times a year; double the number of visits from a decade ago.
  • In 2015, there were more than 600 GP trainee vacancies across the country, the largest ever shortfall in the number of young doctors joining the profession.
  • In March 2017, the latest workforce figures showed a further decline of 100 GPs in the workforce despite government promises that GP numbers would rise by 5,000 between 2015-2020.
  • Since 2008, GP income has declined by 11 per cent while there has, in the same period, been a 2.3 per cent rise in the cost of running a practice (including the amount spent on keeping GP practice buildings in good shape, energy bills for GP practices and the amount spent on GP staff, including practice nurses and receptionists). The cost of running a practice now accounts for 61.6 per cent of total GP income.
  • GP surgeries in East Cheshire are under immense pressure and are struggling to recruit doctors, nurses and administrative staff. Chronic under-funding due to unfair government funding allocations have resulted in some GPs leaving the NHS and emigrating to less pressured health care systems abroad. Waiting times to see GPs are rising for residents of East Cheshire and many have already noticed; this is only going to get worse.

Grassroots GPs: Pressures on the frontline

During late 2016, the BMA conducted a series of surveys of its members and GP practices aimed at painting a picture of the current pressures facing GPs on the frontline of patient care.
Key findings included:

  • In 2016, more than 300 GP practices in England felt that they were under threat of closure because of the financial strain they were under.
  • The same survey also found that around 40 per cent of GP practices had GPs planning to retire in the next five years and nine out of ten practices had to rely on locum cover to plug gaps in their workforce.
  • A second survey of more than 5,000 GPs in December 2016 found that eight out of ten GPs (84 percent) believed workload pressures are either unmanageable (57 per cent) or excessive (27 per cent) and are having a direct impact on the quality and safety of the care they deliver to patients. Only one in ten (10 percent) describe their workload as manageable and allowing for good and safe quality of care.
  • Almost a third of GP partners (31 per cent) also stated that they had been unable to fill vacancies in the last 12 months. A further one in five (18 per cent) said it takes between three and six months to recruit to a vacancy. Only one in eight GP partners (13 per cent) reported not needing to fill a gap in their workforce. Around a third of GP partners who need to hire locums do so in order to cover long term employment vacancies (31%) or to be able to continue to provide a full range of services (30 per cent) to their patients.
  • GP surgeries are underfunded and understaffed. In recent years, one GP surgery in East Cheshire, that has over 12,000 registered patients, has been funded for only 10,000 patients as its population of patients is deemed to be less deserving of funding than other more deprived areas in the UK. Whilst health inequalities need to be addressed, this cannot and should not be at the expense of hard-working tax-payers in East Cheshire. The missing funding would have paid for an extra four full-time GPs for this particular practice; four extra GPs that the government thinks East Cheshire doesn’t deserve.

See what you can do to help save NHS Services in East Cheshire by clicking here

What patients need to do NOW

The information on this website is not new. Politicians and NHS bureaucrats have known of the crisis facing the East Cheshire Health Economy for many years but have failed to address the problem head on. Numerous representations have been made to the authorities by NHS clinicians to no avail. The time for platitudes has passed; it is time now to act.

The residents of East Cheshire need to hold their politicians to account and win a fairer deal for their local NHS services which have been chronically underfunded by successive governments for decades.

The GPs of Chelford, Handforth, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow, Knutsford, Bollington, Poynton, Disley, Congleton, Holmes Chapel and Macclesfield  ask all residents to write to all their MPs, Secretary of State for Health and Prime Minister, to ask them what they will do to ensure that the area’s NHS services are funded adequately and fairly and to ensure that funding formulae stop discriminating against the taxpayers of Cheshire East.

Click here to view a template letter to your Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Health, MP


Contact Details for The Prime Minister and The Secretary of State for Health

Prime Minister Theresa May
10 Downing Street
Email: Use the form at the following page, https://email.number10.gov.uk/

Secretary of State for Health
Jeremy Hunt
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit
Department of Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall

Email: Use the form at the following page, https://contactus.dh.gov.uk/?openform


Contact Details for MPs and Ex-PPCs in East Cheshire


The MP for Tatton Constituency is Esther Mcvey.
Email Address: esther@esthermcvey.com
Twitter: @EstherMcVey1

The Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Tatton Constituency was Samuel Rushworth
Email Address: tattonlabour@outlook.com
Twitter: @TattonLabour

The Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Tatton Constituency was Gareth Wilson.
Mobile: 07787 448 337
Email Address: gwilson@tattonlibdems.co.uk
Twitter: @GarethLibDem

The Independent Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Tatton was Quentin Abel.
Email: tatton@quentinabel.co.uk
eb: www.Quentinabel.co.uk


The MPfor Macclesfield Constituency is David Rutley (Conservative).
Address: David Rutley (Conservative), House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Email Address: david@davidrutley.org.uk
Twitter: el: 01625 422848

The Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Macclesfield Constituency was Neil Francis Puttick.
Twitter: @Puttick4Macc

The Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Macclesfield Constituency was Richard Flowers.
Email Address: sam@macclesfieldlibdems.org.uk
Twitter: @richarddflowers


The MP for Congleton Constituency is Fiona Bruce (Conservative).
Email Address: fiona.bruce.mp@parliament.uk
Tel: 01260 274044
Address: Fiona Bruce (Conservative), House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA

The Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Congleton Constituency was  Sam Corcoran.
Tel: 07850 003869
Email: Use the form at the following page: http://www.congletonlabour.org.uk/contact2
Twitter: @CllrSam

The Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Congleton Constituency was Peter Hirst.
Email Address: hirstp7@gmail.com
Twitter: @Peterhirst9
Tel: 07760 203439

In your correspondence, you may want to make the following points:

East Cheshire has an ageing population with more than average healthcare needs

  • East Cheshire has the fastest ageing population in North West
  • We need more services to help this population
  • An aging population necessitates more referrals to hospital, more medication, more care in general Practice.

GP Practices in East Cheshire are good compared to the rest of the country

High Quality Care

  • All General Practices in East Cheshire are rated Good or outstanding by CQC
  • Preventing premature mortality (under 75) 40% better than England average
  • Dementia diagnosis rates– well above the national average

GPs in East Cheshire already very efficient

GPs have made huge efficiency savings already

  • Low referral rates– so many problems managed in General Practice and not sent to hospital needlessly.
  • Despite being low referrers historically,  GPs in East Cheire  continue to reduce referrals.
  • All referrals DOWN by 5.2%
  • Elective (non-emergency) admissions DOWN by 4.2%
  • A&E attendances DOWN by 0.1% – unlike the majority of the country
  • Non elective admissions DOWN by 3.7%
  • 30% reduction in diabetes admissions

GPs have already controlled prescribing costs and prescribe efficiently 

  • Prescribing savings £3.6 million last year
  • Plans following consultation with the public to try to improve self-care
  • 20% reduction in antibiotic prescribing in 2 years

Ask your MP 


Contact NHSSOS East Cheshire by using the contact form below


This site has been created on behalf of all GP practices in Chelford, Handforth, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Knutsford, Holmes Chapel, Bollington, Disley Poynton, Congleton and  Macclesfield to highlight the chronic under-funding of NHS services in the area.

Contact NHSSOS East Cheshire by using the contact form below