New data from the NHS reveals that over 2000 people in Bracknell faced a wait of 28 days or more to see a GP in January, a further 6,480 people had to wait more than 2 weeks.
One and a quarter million people in England had to wait more than 28 days in January alone, while a further 3 million had to wait more than two weeks. At the same time, the number of qualified GPs has fallen to a record low, leaving patients in a desperate scramble to be seen. Since 2015, more than 2,000 GPs have been cut.
Labour has called on Jeremy Hunt to adopt its plan to double medical school places and train 10,000 more nurses and midwives in his Budget. Even the NHS has proposed that the Government adopt Labour’s plan to double medical school places, but the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is currently refusing to fund it.
Labour’s plan includes:
- Doubling the number of medical school places
- Creating 10,000 new nursing and midwifery placements each year
- Doubling the number of district nurses qualifying each year
- Providing 5,000 new health visitors
Labour would pay for the plans by abolishing non-dom tax status, which allows some of the mega-rich to avoid paying tax in the UK.
The party are also promising that patients will be guaranteed a face-to-face appointment with a GP if they want one. While some patients prefer to hold appointments over the phone, many are frustrated at not being able to see their doctor in person, and just 22% of patients are given a choice in the type of appointment they have. One in seven people who try to speak to a nurse or GP were unable to get an appointment at all last year.
Labour is also pledging to bring back the family doctor, so patients can see the same GP each appointment if they choose to. Patients are increasingly unable to see the doctor of their choice, with 2 in 3 patients rarely or never speaking to their preferred doctor, up from just half in 2018. Under Labour’s plans, GP practices will be provided with incentives to offer patients continuity of care, so doctors must take into account patients’ preferences.
With the NHS is on its knees thanks to 13 years of Tory neglect. Far too many patients can’t see a GP when they need to. This means conditions going undiagnosed until it is too late. The NHS is desperately short of staff. That’s why Labour has set out a plan to double medical school places – a plan the NHS is backing.
Patients should be able to see the doctor they want when they need to. Under the Conservatives that’s just not happening – but the next Labour government will change that, we will put patients first and get them seen on time again.”
If you want to read the full reports from the NHS please click here: NHS January 2023 GP Data