GP walking distanceAround 85% of people in England live within 20 minutes' walk of a GP practice, according to a new study.

Proximity to primary care in deprived areas was even greater, with more than 90% of patients within 20 minutes of a GP surgery, the study by Durham University found.

The percentage of the population living within easy walking distance from a pharmacy was 89% compared to 85% for GPs, according to the research. In deprived areas, the figures were even higher with 100% within easy access to pharmacies and 98% to GP practices.

The researchers used postcodes for all community pharmacies and GP practices in England and coordinates of each postcode for the population. These were then matched to a deprivation index as well as to the type of area, e.g. urban, town and fringe, hamlet or isolate dwelling.

The research team from Durham University was made up of experts in public health, pharmacy, health inequalities and statistics. It consisted of Dr Adam Todd and Dr Andy Husband (School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health), Dr Alison Copeland and Dr Kasim Adetayo (Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing) and Professor Clare Bambra (Department of Geography).