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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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37,000 patients in Shropshire forced to wait a fortnight to see GP

More than 37,000 patients in Shropshire waited more than two weeks to see a GP in September, new research has revealed. 

Helen Morgan MP
Helen Morgan MP

This made up 15.7% of all GP appointments in the Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin CCG area, up from the 9.2% of patients who waited more than two weeks to see their doctor in January.

Across the country, over 5 million people waited more than two weeks for a GP appointment in September, making up 17.9% of all GP visits.

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Helen Morgan MP has said the “worrying figures” show that patients in North Shropshire are being let down by the Government.

It comes as the Liberal Democrats have set out plans for patients to have a right to see their GP within a week, or within 24 hours if in urgent need.

The policy would enshrine this right in the NHS Constitution, putting a duty on the government and health service to make sure it happens. It would be achieved by increasing the number of GPs, fixing pension rules to prevent so many doctors retiring early, and increasing the number of nurses and pharmacists fully qualified to prescribe day to day medicines.

The proposals are being set out by Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey at a major autumn speech this weekend, with the support of MPs includingHelen Morgan.

Helen Morgan MP said: “These worrying figures are just further evidence of how our local health service is being driven into the ground by the Conservative government.

“People with serious conditions in Shropshire are being forced to wait hours for an ambulance, weeks to see a GP and months for a hospital appointment.

“Doctors are working hard but are being swamped by demand due to the pressure on every section of the NHS. Meanwhile patients young and old are forced to put up with anxious waits for checks on all sorts of symptoms. Many are being seen far too late.

“The Liberal Democrats have a clear, credible plan to make sure that everyone is seen by a GP within a week. We need to do much more to recruit and retain doctors, particularly in rural areas like North Shropshire that are often overlooked by the Government.

“Rishi Sunak has shown no awareness of the problems North Shropshire is dealing with and the Conservatives have repeatedly refused to take action to help the NHS.

“Our plan should be implemented as soon as possible to make sure doctors can give patients the speedy attention they deserve.”

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