Emma joined the Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham this week to support Labour’s pledge on GP access. Earlier this week the Labour Leader Ed Miliband announced that under Labour people will be able to get an appointment at their GP surgery within 48 hours, or 24 hours in serious cases.
Labour has promised GPs an extra £100m a year to help pay for this massive improvement to services. This money would be saved by cutting back on the costs of imposing competition on the NHS, introduced by the Coalition in 2012. The policy would also save the NHS money by reducing pressure on A&E.
Under the last Labour Government 80% of patients were able to get an appointment with their local GP within 48 hours, but under David Cameron this has fallen to just 40%. Nearly one quarter of patients now have to wait a week or more for an appointment.
“Local patients are fed up of waiting for days before they can see their GP. Not only is this bad for patients, but it puts pressure on already struggling A&E departments. That’s why I’m backing Labour’s plan to put patients first and guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours.
“David Cameron’s broken promises on the NHS mean that services are under increasing pressure. The Tories can’t be trusted to protect the NHS, and that is why we need a Labour government that will put patients’ interests at the heart of our health service.”