Friday, July 19, 2024

Labour’s Jen Craft backs pledge for more GPs as 64% of patients in Thurrock denied appointments with their preferred GP

LABOUR’S Jen Craft is backing the party’s pledge to train 15,000 doctors a year so patients can see the doctor they want, in the manner they choose, as new figures reveal just 31% of patients in Thurrock regularly see their preferred GP. 

Thanks to the Conservatives cuts to GPs, 1,114 patients in Thurrock wait more than a month to see a GP, and only have a 74% chance of getting a face-to-face appointment. As many as 64% are unable to see the doctor of their choice. 

Across Essex, a staggering 23,349 patients wait more than a month to see a GP.

Jen Craft, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Thurrock, said:
“It is shocking but not at all surprising that over a thousand people in Thurrock are having to wait more than a month to see a GP. I meet people all the time who tell me that they can’t get an appointment, some of them with chronic illnesses.

“I spoke to someone on the doorstep this week with COPD who has a chest infection she can’t shake and she hasn’t been able to see a GP. That is not good enough. 

“The government needs to get a grip of this crisis and provide care for those that desperately need it.” 

Last week, Labour focused its local election campaign on its plans to cut GP waiting times. The party is promising to: 

·         Double medical school places to train 7,500 more doctors a year, paid for by abolishing the non-dom tax status 

·         Guarantee patients face-to-face appointments if they want them 

·         Bring back the family doctor so patients can see the same GP each appointment. 

A review published by the NHS last year found that seeing the same doctor for each appointment is better for patients and helps doctors spot serious illness earlier. 

Before the pandemic, 84% of GP appointments were held face-to-face across the country, but just 2/3 of appointments across England were face-to-face in February. 40% of patients say they were only offered a telephone consultation when they last tried to book a face-to-face GP appointment. 

Wes Streeting, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said: 

“It’s much better for patients to see the GP who knows their medical history, face-to-face if they wish. 

“But patients are finding it impossible to get an appointment at all, let alone with the doctor they want, in the manner they choose. It’s no surprise given the Conservatives have cut 2,000 GPs since 2015. 

“Labour will double medical school places to train 7,500 extra doctors and 10,000 more nurses a year, paid for by abolishing the non-dom tax status, so patients are seen on time again. We will bring back the family doctor and give patients in Thurrock choice and control over their care.” 


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