GP appointment within 48 hours under a Labour government

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.

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6 Responses to “GP appointment within 48 hours under a Labour government”

  1. dougthedug

    “better for Britain”

    Good intentions but is Ed still under the false impression that there is a British NHS?

    The Scottish NHS, Northern Irish Health and Social Care Service and the Welsh NHS are all separate and not under Westminster control.

  2. PoundInYourPocket

    These knee-jerk policy comitments are becomming worrysome. Anyone can use these to grab the headlines but where are the details, are they credible and deliverable ? If a “GP appointment” means an appointment with your doctor, we’ll need to train and recruit many more doctors and renegotiate their service contracts. Or could it just mean an appointment at your surgery with a health advisor, in which case it’s just spin. Giving “consumers” , “rights” in this manner implies that there will be penalties on those that fail to deliver. This causes all manner of legal and financial complications as people that would otherwise have been happy with a 72 hour appointment now feel as if their “rights” have been traduced. I think we need more considered and precise policy announcements not this drip-drip of “good ideas” to grab todays headlines. Someone needs to grow up.

  3. Richard Gadsden

    Last time they did this, it became impossible to get an appointment at more than 48 hours notice. Please make sure that I can book an appointment a week or two in advance so I can plan my time and, if necessary, book time off work.
    Honestly, an evening surgery once a week that I could book well in advance would be far more useful.

  4. Jimmy

    So let’s hear your plan to ensure people can get appointments within a reasonable timeframe. It’s not a small or irrelevant issue.

  5. PoundInYourPocket

    I agree it’s a serios issue, but just stating that people will have a right to an appointment within 48 hours isn’t a policy it’s an aim. I’m not saying how that will be achieved , I’m asking how Ed intends to achieve this, as it’s no simple matter.

  6. George O'McEnglish

    What a joke….£100,000,000 divided by the 10, 987 GP surgeries in the UK equates to £9,101 per GP practice. Enabling appointments within 48 hours will require at least one new GP per practice. A GP will earn £100,000+ per annum so who did you maths Ed? The RCGP says it will cost more like £3,000,000,000. I believe it will cost a lot more as it will require practice to employ locums (agency and independent) with sky high rates. It will also put undue pressure of practices already struggling to cope with the demand. You have to remember that there are plenty of patients who will book appointments for every minor issues (especially those from less developed countries who are not used to free medical care) and these people do not need to be seen within 48 hours. Another pathetic attempt to win votes through lies and outrageous claims. If it is truly possible then why isn’t everyone in NHS Wales already getting an appointment within 48 hours?

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