More a fifth of England's population live in rural areas, housing a large proportion of the nations elderly people - more likely to have complex, long-term medical problems.
Age UK has been monitoring the impact of the GP crisis on older patients in rural areas and in its most recent survey, 45 per cent said they were worried about their ability to access their GP.
Nuffield Trust warned that the picture for patients is only going to get worse 'with an increasing number of GPs leaving clinical practice or working part-time, and many practices unable to fill vacant GP posts.
Hundreds of thousands of patients are being forced to re-register with another practice after their own practice has closed'.
For many rural areas, housing development is compounding national problems of recruiting and retaining GPs.
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