Under the Tories it’s got harder to see a GP – meaning people are having to wait longer and longer. More people are having to wait over 48 hours for an appointment, and over a quarter of the public say they can’t get an appointment in the same week.
That’s bad news for families who depend on their local GP service, and it’s also putting huge strain on our A&Es.
The Tories cannot escape their responsibility for this. They made it harder to see your GP, by scrapping Labour’s guarantee of a GP appointment in 48 hours, saying that this was “no longer a priority”. They cut funding for Labour’s GP extended opening hours scheme, and as a result fewer practices are open at evening and weekends.
Now, people are waiting longer and longer for appointments. According to the most recent GP Patient survey, 13 million people can’t get an appointment at their surgery, or had to wait a week or more for an appointment the last time they tried. In a recent survey by the Patients Association, 60 per cent of people said they waited longer than 48 hours to see a GP.
Lack of access to GPs is one of the reasons why we have a crisis in A&E, with the number of patients waiting over four hours at its highest for a decade. The Government’s own review of emergency care highlighted lack of GP access as a key reason for the pressures on A&E.
Labour has a plan to make sure you and your family can see your GP when you need to.
• We will guarantee that you can get a GP appointment within 48 hours – and on the same day for those who need it.
• We will give people the right to book an appointment more than 48 hours ahead with the GP of their choice. This is particularly important for people with complex needs who need continuity of care with the same doctor, but may not want an appointment straight away.