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Nearly a million patients turned to A&E because they couldn’t see a GP

Hospitals across England are struggling under record
pressure as hundreds of thousands arrive at A&E departments after failing
to get an appointment with their family doctor the last time they tried, an
official NHS England survey found.

Here in the East Midlands over 65,000 patients attended A&E after failing to get an appointment with their family doctor.  

Across England, 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.

The survey of patients found that, in each English region, thousands turned to A&E when they couldn’t see their GP:


 Number   attending A&E

East   Midlands






North   East and Cumbria


North   West


South   East


South   West


West   Midlands






Earlier this month, Ed Miliband set out a five-point plan to rescue struggling A&E departments following a lack of action from the Government. The measures included immediate support for GPs to offer appointments this winter.

Labour has also 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. 


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.

“David Cameron caused this A&E crisis and his complacency is now a danger to patients. Labour has committed to investing an extra £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."

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