GP surgeries in East Lancashire have each taken on an averge of another 73 patients in the last year – data shows.

NHS Digital figures show each GP team in the NHS East Lancashire CCG area was dealing with an average of 8,180 patients each – up slightly from 8,103 in June 2020.

In total 392,621 patients were registered at the 48 GP practices in the area as of the end of June.

The number of patients in east Lancashire increased by 3,678 over this time, while the number of practices remained unchanged.

Figures also reveal how one practice in East Lancashire has around 24 times as many patients as another.

Burnley Group Practice has the most patients registered, with 25,079, while Great Harwood Surgery has the fewest – 1,063.

The British Medical Association said a rapid expansion of the GP workforce across England is needed, as the number of patients per practice hit a new national record.

Richard Vautrey, chairman of the BMA’s GP committee said: “The differences seen throughout England reflect the overall workforce crisis, which has been troubling for over a decade now.

"Numbers of GPs are falling while demand rises, leaving us with a severe shortage.

"With a growing and ageing population, only a medical workforce expansion will give us hope that we can offer good quality care to everyone in the future.”

He urged the Government to rapidly grow the medical workforce by at least 31% to ensure all citizens receive the same standard of care.

Across England, 60.8 million patients were registered at 6,571 facilities in June – equating to an average of 9,258 people per practice - the highest figure since comparable quarterly records began in 2015.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the new Office for Health Promotion – to be launched later this year – will "level up the health of the nation" and close disparities.

A spokeswoman added: “We have invested £270 million to expand GP capacity, on top of the £1.5 billion for extra staff until 2023-24.

“The highest ever number of doctors accepted a place on GP speciality training in 2020 and we are committed to increasing the number of training places available to 4,000 a year, as well as targeting recruitment in hard-to-recruit areas."