As a local Labour PPC I spend a great deal of time meeting with local people, listening to their hopes and concerns. Something I hear more and more about is the National Health Service. People tell me it’s getting harder to see the family doctor. David Cameron scrapped Labour’s guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours- and now 60 per cent of patients say they can’t see their GP within two days. In this area, 15% of people say they’ve waited more than a week.
Thousands of nurses and frontline staff have been lost from the NHS since David Cameron became Prime Minister and disturbingly, experts say that A&Es don’t have safe staffing levels. If you are unfortunate enough to be waiting for a treatment like a cataract removal or knee operation, these are now being rationed.
David Cameron is responsible for this crisis. He has wasted £3 billion on a damaging NHS reorganisation he promised wouldn’t happen. And Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems have been too weak to stand up to David Cameron and have backed the Tories all the way.
Meanwhile cuts to elderly care are sending more elderly people to A&E and making it harder for them to get the care they need at home. It's stories like these that make what Harry Smith said at Labour Conference so powerful. If you haven't seen it yet, please take the time to watch what he says here.
Labour rescued the NHS after years of Tory neglect before and we’ll do it again. We’ll repeal David Cameron’s NHS changes that put private profit before patients so that NHS professionals can focus on your care.
And we’ll get started by guaranteeing a GP appointment within 48 hours and on the same day for those who need it, as well as 8,000 more family doctors, 5,000 more home carers and 3,000 more midwives.
But the General Election isn’t until next year and that’s why I’m organising a campaign now to call on David Cameron to guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours straight away.
Please take a moment to sign my petition to guarantee GP access within 48 hours here