Getting to see a GP has been called “the single biggest concern” people in parts of Bolton have about health at a Westminster debate.

Access to often very busy GP surgeries has long been a hotly debated issue all across the borough in recent months and years.

But Bolton West MP Chris Green says that the issue has proven to be especially acute in towns further out on the western edges of the borough.

He said: “From Atherton to Heaton to Horwich, constituents raise concerns about access to GP services with me, however, I hear more people consistently raise their concerns in Blackrod and Westhoughton.

“I therefore raised this with the Health Minister responsible to press for greater local resources.”

The Bolton News: People across Bolton have expressed concerns about getting to see their GPsPeople across Bolton have expressed concerns about getting to see their GPs (Image: PA)

A multi-million pound “health hub” is currently under development on Market Street in Horwich, having been under discussion since 2016.

This is aimed at going to some way to addressing people across the western edges of Bolton’s health needs.

But Mr Green has said he still hears about persistent concerns, particularly where accessing family doctors is concerned.

Towards the end of last year, he had told a select committee that there were “observable concerns” in these same areas about people getting access to healthcare.

It was this that prompted him to raise the issue with parliamentary under secretary of state for public health Andrea Leadsom MP in parliament.

Addressing the House of Commons, Mr Green said: “Single biggest concern my constituents raise about health care is about access to GPs, especially in Blackrod and Westhoughton.”

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He asked what the government would do to ensure people in areas like these had better access to surgeries.

In response, Ms Ledsome said that the government’s “NHS long term plan” had helped ensure a “real terms increase” of around £4.5billion a year for primary and community care for 2023-24.

She said: “We now have over 2,000 more GPs, full time equivalent, working in our NHS and we’ve had the amazing achievement of more than 50million more appointments per year, beating our target by several months.”

She added: “These are significant improvements and there are more measures that I’d be delighted to talk to him privately about.”