A new study has reported that seeing the same GP could help people live longer lives.

Researchers have found that those living in areas of England with more fully qualified GPs and better-funded surgeries see a positive impact on their life expectancy.

The impact of a general practice on how long people live was studied by academics from the University of Leicester.

The research has been conducted amid what the academics have described as a decline in access and continuity of care.

The life expectancy data in the National General Practice Profiles system was analysed as part of the study.

16 models were studied including population characteristics relating to deprivation, ethnicity and the number of patients on the diabetes register.

NHS payments per registered patient and the percentage of patients seen on the same day were also considered as part of the research.

The findings, published in the British Journal of General Practice, indicated that deprivation and geography were “powerful predictors of life expectancy”.

More funding and a higher number of GPs were also “associated with higher life expectancy”.

Meanwhile,  the number of GP registrars, receptionists and advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) was not.

Other nursing staff, excluding ANPs, predicted lower life expectancy, according to the study.


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Researchers have said that this reflects “the employment of more practice nurses per unit of population in deprived localities."

The team commented: “The number of GPs, continuity of care, and access in England are declining, and it is worrying that these features of general practice were positively associated with life expectancy.”

The research follows January figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which revealed that estimated life expectancy at birth had fallen in most local areas.

The reduction is reportedly down to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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From 2020 to 2022, the average was 78.6 years for males and 82.6 years for females, down by 38 weeks and 23 weeks respectively when compared with 2017 to 2019.

The figures also reflected a regional divide.

Areas across southern England dominate the list for the highest life expectancy at birth.

It is important to note that no areas in the south appear in the top 10 for the lowest life expectancy.