More than 1,000 children without a GP in West Norfolk
More than 1,000 babies and small children in West Norfolk are not registered with a doctor, and could potentially be missing life-saving health checks.
Doctors have warned children could be at risk of missing out on key vaccinations and check-ups because their parents haven’t signed them up with a surgery.
NHS figures show there are 8,239 newborns and children under five registered with GP practices in the NHS West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group area.
However, the latest ONS figures put the number of children aged four and under in the CCG’s area at 9,543.
This means around 1,300 children are not on a GP’s register.
Across England, more than 123,000 children - four per cent of the population - are not registered with a doctors’ surgery.
Prof Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, has urged parents to ensure their children are registered.
She said: “I find it deeply concerning that so many children appear to be unregistered with a GP, at a time where we are seeing an emergence of preventable and deadly diseases such as the measles, record levels of childhood obesity and its associated conditions, and with 34 per cent of all child deaths in the UK considered avoidable – the vast majority of which are in infancy.”
The NHS offers regular health checks for babies until they are two years old, to monitor their development. They are also given a personal child health record, known as a red book, in which parents and health professionals keep a log of their vaccinations and measurements.
In 2017-18, just 87 per cent of children in England had received both the recommended MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) jabs by the time they turned five.
Prof Viner said: “Registering a child with a doctor can be life saving or at the very least, life changing.”