Lib Dems will give patients the right to see their GP within a week

24 May 2024
Pippa speaking with a GP in South Cambs surgery.
  • A five year plan to give patients in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough a right to see their GP within a week or 24-hours if in urgent need will be in the Liberal Democrat General Election manifesto the party has today announced
  • Last year 1,113,854 appointments in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough took longer than two weeks to happen, under the Liberal Democrats plans every single patient will have the right to see their GP in seven days
  • South Cambrdigeshire’s Liberal Democrats have said that this Conservative government had “abandoned local health services” and called for a “fair deal for this community’s patients”

Last year there were 1,113,854 appointments that took over two weeks in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, equating to 17.8% of appointments. This included a staggering 347,849 which took longer than a month, 5.6% of all appointments.

The number of disturbingly long waits in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has been getting worse. In 2022, there were 775,623 over two weeks, or 13.9% of all appointments. Last year this shot up drastically to 1,113,854 or 17.8% of all appointments. 

The Liberal Democrats have said that under their plans, patients will no longer be left waiting for an appointment and risk their conditions getting worse.

The party will deliver the plan by:

  • Increasing the number of full-time equivalent GPs by 8,000, half by boosting recruitment and half from retaining more experienced GPs.
  • Freeing up GPs’ time by giving more prescribing rights and public health advisory services to qualified pharmacists, nurse practitioners and paramedics.
  • Introducing a universal 24/7 GP booking system.
  • Removing top-down bureaucracy to let practices hire the staff they need and invest in training.

South Cambridgeshire’s Liberal Democrats said that this Conservative government had “abandoned local health services” and called for a “fair deal for this community's patients”. 

Liberal Democrat spokesperson for South Cambridgeshire, Pippa Heylings said:

“This Conservative government has driven our area’s local health services into the ground. Thousands of patients in South Cambs are facing agonisingly long waits, often in terrible pain whilst waiting to see their GP. 

“Through my local campaign for Fairer Funding for GPs, I have met with many of our local GPs and discovered that Cambridgeshire receives the lowest primary healthcare funding per capita in the whole of the country despite the growth in our area. 

“The Conservative party have proven themselves totally unfit to run our NHS. They have abandoned local health services and it is patients bearing the brunt of their neglect.

“It should not be too much to ask for patients to be able to see their GP when they need to. That is why the Liberal Democrats have committed to a fair deal for this community’s patients with a right to see a GP within a week and for fairer funding for GPs.”

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