The doctor can’t see you now – 16% of people in greater Manchester who try to make a GP appointment don’t get one, whilst 52,740 are forced to wait over a month.

New figures from NHS England show that 16% of people in Greater Manchester could not get an appointment to see or speak to a GP or nurse the last time they tried.

Meanwhile, data from the NHS reveals that in the past year, 1,108,264 GP appointments in the North West of England were held a month late, as patients struggle to see a GP when they need one.

In June alone, 52,740 appointments were held a month late in Greater Manchester.

When the Conservatives entered government in 2010, they scrapped the guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours.

Over the twelve years of Conservative government since then, public satisfaction with GP services has fallen by 39% from 77% in Labour’s last year in government, to just 38% now, the lowest level since the survey began in 1983.

Data from the NHS also finds that 33% of appointments in Greater Manchester aren’t held face-to-face.

The Government has admitted it is failing to meet its manifesto pledge to recruit more GPs. Under the Conservatives, the number of GPs is falling and hundreds of GP practices have closed since the 2019 general election. As a result, many ‘GP appointments’ held today are not with a GP.

A BBC Panorama investigation in June found that unqualified staff at Operose Health practices, the UK’s largest GP chain, are seeing patients without the required supervision, instead of doctors.

Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said:

“Patients are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment when they need one.  The Conservatives have closed hundreds of practices since the 2019 election and are breaking their manifesto promise to hire more GPs.  Labour will recruit and retain the staff the NHS needs to treat patients on time.”

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