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Catherine Atkinson exposes Tory failure on GP appointments

Catherine AtkinsonThousands of patients are waiting over a week to see a GP in Erewash

Almost 1 in 5 patients in Erewash waited seven days or longer to see a GP the last time they tried, an official NHS survey has found. 

19.49% of local patients – equating to 18,230 people - 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 - to guarantee appointments within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it. 

The annual NHS England survey, released recently, also revealed that local patients struggle to see the family doctor of their choosing. 42% of respondents said they could only see their preferred GP some of the time or never. The next Labour Government will also give patients the right to book ahead with the GP they prefer to see. 

Catherine Atkinson, Labour candidate for the general election next year said: "If you or your child is sick waiting a week to see your GP is far too long. As a mum I want to know that I would be able to see a GP quickly if my baby boy fell ill. 48 hours should be an absolute maximum.

"It is shocking that Erewash seems to be the worst for this in the East Midlands and one of the worst in the whole country. People have been telling me it's hard to get an appointment but these figures prove it - and it is just not good enough. 

"It is bound to add to add to the pressure on our A&Es. Our NHS staff are doing a great job but are just not getting the back up they need from government

"That's why I'm campaigning for the Government to guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it."

Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, 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."

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