General practice services have been treated with ‘astonishing neglect’ by the Conservative government, according to analysis from Labour.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth released his opposition party’s interpretation of GP patient surveys over the past few years, indicating that access to surgeries has deteriorated year on year since 2012.
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According to Mr Ashworth, this was the result of continuous underfunding of primary care services, in spite of government promises to create better round-the-clock access to GPs.
‘This research exemplifies just how hard it is becoming to see a GP in Tory Britain, with patients’ overall experience of their GP services getting drastically worse,’ he said.
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‘Across the country GPs and practice staff are working to keep the service running in the face of astonishing neglect from Theresa May and her ministers.
‘The British public deserves better. Labour would give GPs the resources and support they need to provide better and more accessible services for patients.’
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In this year’s GP patient survey, 68% people said they found it easy to get through to their surgery – down from 79% in 2012, with the number of people unable to get appointments at all rising to 11.3%.
The Department of Health insisted it was continuing on towards its goal of an extra £2.4 billion of funding for general practice and 5,000 more GPs by 2020. They said 17 million people are now able to make appointments with their practices at evenings and weekends in an aim to expand service hours.