The doctor can’t see you now – 15% of people across the North East and North Cumbria who try to make a GP appointment don’t get one, whilst 59,947 are forced to wait over a month.
New figures from NHS England show that 15% of people across the North East and North Cumbria could not get an appointment to see or speak to a GP or nurse the last time they tried.
Meanwhile, data from the NHS reveals that in the past year, 2,021,132 GP appointments across the North East and Yorkshire were held a month late, as patients struggle to see a GP when they need one.
In June alone, 59,947 appointments were held a month late across the North East and North Cumbria.
When the Conservatives entered government in 2010, they scrapped the guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours.
Over the twelve years of Conservative government since then, public satisfaction with GP services has fallen by 39 percentage points – from 77 per cent in Labour’s last year in government, to just 38 per cent now, the lowest level since the survey began in 1983.
Data from the NHS also finds that 27% appointments in the North East and Yorkshire aren’t held face-to-face.
The Government has admitted it is failing to meet its manifesto pledge to recruit more GPs.
Under the Conservatives, the number of GPs is falling and hundreds of GP practices have closed since the 2019 general election. As a result, many ‘GP appointments’ held today are not with a GP.
A BBC Panorama investigation in June found that unqualified staff at Operose Health practices, the UK’s largest GP chain, are seeing patients without the required supervision, instead of doctors.
Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said:
“Patients are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment when they need one.
“The Conservatives have closed hundreds of practices since the 2019 election and are breaking their manifesto promise to hire more GPs.
“Labour will recruit and retain the staff the NHS needs to treat patients on time.”
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said:
"More and more constituents are getting in touch with me frustrated and anxious because they are struggling to see a GP.
“We need more GPs but the Conservatives have once again over-promised and under-delivered.
“People in the North East deserve a Labour government that will give the NHS what it needs to see people on time, not more of the same from the Conservatives.”