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Thousands of Calderdale patients wait over a week to see GP

Monday, 28 July 2014

Thousands of Calderdale patients have to wait for over a week to see a GP. Over 23,000 patients in Calderdale waited seven days or longer to see their GP the last time they tried, an official NHS survey has found.

Across the Calderdale clinical commissioning group 23,161 people said they'd faced a wait of a week or more when they phoned for an appointment in the last year.

Labour has pledged to invest £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.

The annual NHS England survey, released earlier this month, also revealed that local patients struggle to see the family doctor of their choosing. Across Calderdale, 4 in 10 patients (42,090 people) who have a preferred GP had to see another doctor when they last went to their surgery. The next Labour Government will also give patients the right to book ahead with the GP they prefer to see.

The delays have left 15,179 local people saying they would not recommend their family's practice to new patients.

Josh Fenton-Glynn, Labour's candidate in Calder Valley, told the HebWeb, "David Cameron has made it harder for people in Calderdale to get a GP appointment - proof he can't be trusted with our local NHS, and one of the major reasons behind the huge demand our under-threat A&E department is struggling with. The proposals that would see the work loads of GPs and Walk in centres increase are completely undermined by these findings.

"Within days of the last election, he scrapped Labour's appointments guarantee and now thousands of people here are waiting over a week. Labour will scrap David Cameron's NHS market and invest the savings in helping people get a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it."

Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, has said,"This survey confirms what Labour has been saying. People want to be able to see the GP they trust, and who knows their family history, but are left phoning the surgery day after day only to be disappointed. Patients are waiting days or even weeks for appointments and that is forcing people to A&E in record numbers.

"People know from their own experience that the NHS is heading downhill under this Government."