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Wednesday 13th November 2019

NHS at crisis point as millions of Brits forced to wait a month for GP appointment

GP service at breaking point…

The doctor will see you now… As long as you've pre-booked an appointment a month before you actually need one!

Due to a shortage of doctors, GP waiting times have hit a new record high, with some 15 million patients reportedly being forced to wait 28 days before seeing a doctor.

Figures for the 12 months to August 2019 showed that a similar number of Brits were kept waiting between 22 and 28 days.

You'll have a long wait if you're looking to book an appointment with a GP (Credit: Pexels)

The Mirror reports that, in total, 55 million Brits waited more than two weeks to see their GP.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth claimed: "The Tories have spent nine years running the NHS into the ground."

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A new scheme that aims to bring in an extra 2,000 GPs from abroad, at a cost of £2m, has so far produced just 350 candidates – with only 58 actually in place as of June.

We are determined to reduce GP waiting times further.

As a result, Britain is said to be "veering towards" a shortage of 7,000 GPs within the next five years.

The NHS is at crisis point due to a lack of doctors (Credit: Pexels)

Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee, said: "This isn’t just a bad day at the office – for growing numbers of GPs, it’s every day and patients suffer as a result."

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Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb added: "Our GP service is at breaking point due to the lack of funding and the failure by the government to solve the problems with recruitment and retention."

This isn’t just a bad day at the office – for growing numbers of GPs, it’s every day and patients suffer as a result.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman hit back and said: "Two in three appointments happen within seven days of being booked, but we are determined to reduce GP waiting times further."

They added that they are investing an extra £4.5bn a year by 2023-24 and funding up to 20,000 extra staff in GP surgeries.

It's hoped the NHS Long-Term Plan will help "free up doctors to spend more time with patients".

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