Seeking appointment guarantees with doctors for patients

General Health tile
General Health tile

MP covering Conisbrough, Caroline Flint, has joined her colleague MP Rosie Winterton in backing plans for local patients to be guaranteed an appointment with a GP within 48 hours under the next Labour government.

As part of Ed Miliband’s plans to improve services for patients and ease pressure on local hospitals, the MPs are supporting Labour’s new guarantee for patients to be able to see a GP within 48 hours or on the same day if they need to be seen quickly.

Said Caroline: “My last question to Ministers and enquiries to NHS England have shown that 6 in 10 people in Doncaster get a GP appointment within 48 hours. We can do better than this. There is no good case for people waiting for days to see a local GP.

“Under this Government, some Doncaster residents are waiting a week or more to see their GP, and I don’t believe that is always by choice. Improvements in primary care are key to reducing pressures on our hospitals and preventing illness.”

Rosie Winterton said: “Labour’s plan will raise standards, put patients first and guarantee them an appointment with a local GP within 48 hours or on the same day if they need to be seen quickly. Doncaster residents are fed up of David Cameron’s broken promises to protect the NHS. It just goes to show that the Tories can’t be trusted with our National Health Service.”

“The Government deliberately scrapped the requirement that GPs must give appointments in 48 hours, and since then patients have had to settle for second best. It is not right.”

Under Labour’s plans, GP surgeries across the country will be given an extra £100 million a year to achieve this massive improvement in standards – enough to pay for an additional three million GP appointments every year. It will also ease the pressure across the NHS and could save millions of pounds by reducing the number of patients going to A&E departments.

Ms Flint latest questions to Health Ministers showed that in Doncaster: The Government could not provide details for local GP practices, having scrapped the requirement to keep the figures.

Also 42% of patients are seen in the same day.

And 14% on the next working day.

Also 29% “a few days later”

And 31% a week or more later

So 42% (more than 4 in 10) wait to be seen between a few days and over a week.