LOCAL hospitals are struggling under record pressure as thousands of patients arrive at A&E after failing to get an appointment with their family doctor the last time they tried, an official NHS England survey found.
The survey also found one in four patients waits a week or more for an appointment after the Government’s decision to abolish the 48-hour appointment guarantee after the last election.
Mike Le-Surf, Labour’s PPC for South Basildon and East Thurrock said:
Our services in Basildon are under real pressure. David Cameron caused this A&E crisis and his complacency is now a danger to patients. We need immediate support for GPs to offer appointments within 48 hours."
Jamie Reed MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, said:
"David Cameron has made it harder for people to get a GP appointment and it’s left people turning to overstretched A&E departments. Patients are phoning the surgery day after day only to be disappointed. It’s like getting sought-after concert tickets, sitting for hours early morning with the phone on redial. But sadly, too many people are forced to give up and go to A&E."
Labour has committed to investing an extra Â£2.5 billion each year – over and above the Tories – to recruit 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 nurses. We will scrap the Government’s NHS market and invest the savings in helping people to get a GP appointment within 48 hours.
Labour has also pledged to invest Â£100 million in GP surgeries – saved by scrapping David Cameron’s NHS market rules that waste millions on lawyers fees and contract tendering – to guarantee appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it.