IT wasn’t good to hear Thurrock being tagged one of the most “under-doctored boroughs in the country”.

But it was, and by someone clearly in the know too.

Rahul Chaudhari is the director of primary care in Thurrock.

He stood up in front of councillors and painted a rather bleak picture of just how hard it is to get basic NHS care in the community at the moment.

It was revealed that across the country there is one doctor per 800 patients. Yet in this borough there’s one doctor per 2,700 patients... Ok, what about nursing. Well, this doesn’t shape up too good either.

Nationally it should be a nurse per 4,000 patients - here it’s one per 6,000.

This led to Mr Chaudhari to calculate there being a shortfall of no less than 20,000 doctor’s appointments every week. And he fears this could rise to 60,000 within three years if nothing is done.

The good news? Well there’s not much.

A £30million scheme was spoken about at the meeting too and will be used to recruit 120 GPs across mid and south Essex. But this seems little more than a drop in the ocean, but a start none-the-less.

After his update councillors on the council’s Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be under no illusions of the scale of this problem.

They now need to monitor progress and keep families updated on what’s being done to avert a crisis in terms of residents being able to seek the most basic professional help when feeling poorly.