NHS patients will be guaranteed a GP appointment within 48 hours under a Labour government.
NHS patients will be guaranteed a GP appointment within 48 hours under a Labour government, with those requiring more urgent care guaranteed a same-day appointment.
In a speech this evening, Ed Miliband will criticise the coalition’s record on the NHS and contrast it with Labour plans to invest £100 million a year in family doctor practices which the party says could pay for an additional three million GP appointments every year:
“I can announce that the next Labour government will put in place a new set of standards: a same-day consultation with your GP surgery with a guarantee of a GP appointment if you need it that day, a GP appointment guaranteed for all within 48 hours, and the right to book further ahead with the GP of your choice if your priority is to plan ahead or to see your preferred doctor. This will be better for patients, because they have better access to their GP; better for the NHS, because it will save money currently spent in A&E; and better for Britain, because it is the kind of health service we need.”
The proportion of people able to get a GP appointment within 48 hours has fallen from 80 per cent under the previous government to just 40 per cent today, Miliband will say. He will also argue that investing in GP surgeries could reduce emergency admissions by as many as 159,000 a year, saving the NHS £375 million
Under Labour’s plans, NHS patients will have the right to:
- consult a doctor or nurse at their local GP surgery on the same day
- get an appointment at their surgery on the same day if they need to be seen quickly
- have a guaranteed appointment at their surgery within 48 hours
- book an appointment more than 48 hours ahead with the GP of their choice
Labour intend to pay for the proposals by cutting back quangos and well paid consultants and repealing competition laws introduced by the coalition, which Miliband will say are resulting in money being wasted on red tape and lawyers.
As well as the announcement on GP appointments, Miliband will also set out plans to integrate physical health, mental health and social care services and improve care outside of hospitals.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.