A number of hard-pressed GP practices in Mid Sussex are facing soaring numbers of patients.
With health services under pressure and many people now finding difficulties in making appointments to see their GP, figures reveal that the worst-hit Mid Sussex practice has seen patient numbers rocket by almost a quarter in three years.
The surgery is Cuckfield Medical Practice where the number of patients has soared from 7,672 in 2013 to 9,127 in 2016 - an increase of 18.9 per cent.
The figures are revealed at a time when health officials have pleaded with people to stay away from A&E at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath unless they have a life-threatening condition.
Other Mid Sussex GP surgeries also currently face growing lists of patients. Northlands Wood Practice in Haywards Heath has seen patient numbers there rocket from 5,839 in 2013 to 6,825 in 2016 - an increase of 16.8 per cent.
Silverdale Practice in Burgess Hill, had a total of 10,970 on its books in 2013 which rose to 11,573 in 2016 - an increase of 5.4 per cent.
At Newtons Practice in Haywards Heath, there has been a 4.6 per cent increase in the number of patients registered there since 2013. The numbers of patients have gone up from 13,231 to 13,849.
A spokeswoman for NHS England, south east, said: “GP practices are responsible for managing their services in a way that meets the needs of their patients, but we know that general practice, like other parts of the NHS, is under real pressure.”
She added that the Royal College of GPs and other GP representatives were working on plans to transform general practice services, to improve access to services for patients and to invest in new ways of providing primary care.