There are more than 35 per cent more patients per doctor in Brighton and Hove than the national average.

The oversubscription of the city’s GP surgeries is causing dissatisfaction with booking appointments and frustration with opening hours.

Dr Richard Vautrey, the GP committee chairman of the British Medical Association, said the findings were “yet more evidence of the impact on general practice that a decade of underinvestment and a GP recruitment crisis is having”.

He added: “Whilst the Government have made some commitments to increase funding and invest in recruitment programme for general practice, it has not gone far enough to solve the crisis in areas such as this.”

Eight surgeries in the city have closed in the last three years and GP numbers continue to decrease.

But despite their huge workloads, doctors are providing good care for their patients with 83 per cent saying they were satisfied with their surgery, close to the national average of 85 per cent.

And 87 per cent of patients would recommend their surgery to a friend, a full ten percentage points higher than the English average.

The findings are included in a report by watchdog Healthwatch Brighton and Hove, published

tomorrow, after the watchdog interviewed 1,483 patients including at least some from all 40 of the city’s GP practices.

It also visited 29 of the practices to observe performance, hygiene, signage, access and the comfort of the waiting area.

Brighton and Hove has an average of 2,394 patients per GP, against an average across England of 1,762 – meaning the city’s GP lists are nearly 36 per cent longer.

A third of patients had difficulties booking appointments or experienced long waits between booking and the date of their appointment.

But surgeries generally provided good, patient-friendly environments, with courteous staff and

comfortable waiting rooms and accessible toilets.

Councillor Dan Yates, chairman of the health and wellbeing board, said recent changes to care provision had been specifically to meet residents’ needs.

Dr David Supple, clinical chairman of Brighton and Hove Clinical commissioning Group and a local GP, said the CCG was developing a

strategy that sets out how to help practices be more resilient in the short-term.

He added: “We have longer-term plans that aim to create new ways of working that will address the challenges they face, identify practices under pressure and encourage anticipatory planning to avoid a potential crisis.”