THE GP practices in Somerset with the most and least patients per doctor have been revealed.

North Petherton Surgery has the worst ratio in the area, with 4,967 patients per full-time GP.

This was followed by Ryalls Park Medical Centre, Yeovil (4,090) and Highbridge Medical Centre (4,076).

The British Medical Association said large disparities in GP to patient ratios throughout England are "wholly unacceptable" and called on the Government to address the longstanding issues.

NHS Digital figures show 594,031 patients were registered at GP practices in the NHS Somerset CCG area at the end of January – along with the equivalent of 362 full-time GPs.

This means if the patients were equally spread, each GP would be dealing with an average of 1,639 patients – but the figures vary drastically across the 64 practices which were recorded as having patients and any FTE practitioners.

Meanwhile, the Somerset practices with the lowest number of patients per GP are Mendip Country Practice (740), North Curry (841) and Wellington Medical Centre (857).

The Royal College of GPs said that between September 2015 and December 2021 the number of patients per GP increased by 10%, the number of fully qualified, full-time equivalent GPs fell by 5% and the population grew by 4%.

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the RCGP, said some regions are affected worse than others as they face greater difficulties recruiting new GPs.

"GPs want to be able to consistently give their patients the care they deserve, no matter where they live.

"But the increased workload expected of GPs and their teams while their numbers fail to increase at the necessary pace, is unsustainable."

Along with the hiring of more GPs, he said plans are also needed to keep experienced GPs in the workforce for longer.

The Department of Health and Social Care said there were over 1,600 more FTE doctors in December 2021 than two years previously, with a record-breaking number starting training last year.

A spokeswoman added: “We have invested £520 million to improve access and expand GP capacity during the pandemic."