Lib Dems announce five year plan to give patients in Waltham Forest right to see a GP within a week

4 Jun 2024
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey announcing the party's GP Guarantee

The Liberal Democrats have announced that their five-year plan to give patients in Waltham Forest a legal right to see a GP within a week or 24-hours if in urgent need will be in their General Election manifesto.

Last year there were 1,109,082 appointments that took over two weeks in North East London, equating to 9.1% of appointments. This included a staggering 213,597 which took longer than a month.

The number of disturbingly long waits in North East London has been getting worse. In 2022, there were 1,008,657 over two weeks, or 9.4% of all appointments. Last year this increased to 1,109,082 or 9.7% of all appointments.

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

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.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Leyton & Wanstead, Tara Copeland, said:

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

"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 and legal right to see a GP within a week."

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