According to Pulse’s annual survey of waiting times, for the first time ever the average wait for a routine GP appointment is now more than two weeks.
Responding to the survey, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Judith Jolly said:
“The waiting time figures released today must be condemned. To see for the first time ever that patients are having to wait over two weeks for a GP appointment makes a mockery of the care the NHS seeks to provide, showing what Conservative cuts have done to our healthcare system.
“This looks like the beginning of the collapse of the general practice system. GPs are tired, overworked and do not want to work in inner cities or rural areas. Older GPs are choosing to retire early due to taxation disincentives and many young ones choose not to practise at all.
“The Conservatives continue to ignore the struggles of our doctors to meet the rising demand, leaving patients at risk. This needs more than the Prime Minister throwing money at it, we need to work with GPs to look at how a 70 year old system needs to change to deliver the service we need.
“This situation is simply not sustainable.
“The Liberal Democrats in government would implement a national workforce strategy to tackle the staffing crisis. We are clear that more doctors are urgently needed to guarantee a fully-staffed NHS that provides everyone with the care they need.”