Denise Burke, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North Norfolk writes:
The recent report on the NHS England GP Patient Survey throws up some alarming statistics about the average wait to see a GP in North Norfolk.
The EDP reports that 17.4% of patients were waiting at least a week or more to see their GP, with 42% saying that they see their preferred GP only “some of the time” or “never”. This leaves the district of North Norfolk in the worst position in the whole of this region.
The outlook for the rest of Norfolk does not appear any more favourable and supports the view that the government was wrong to cancel a commitment for GPs to see patients within 48 hours. With thousands waiting over a week to see their GP, it’s not surprising that this is putting a huge strain on other parts of the NHS like Accident and Emergency and the ambulance service.
That’s why Labour is pledging to re-introduce the 48 hour commitment which was axed in 2010. We’re also calling for the backdoor privatisation of the NHS to be halted too.
In 2014 alone almost £7 million has been earmarked by the North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group to go to private providers, with an admission that for some contracts there is no set limit on the spending. This outsourcing of the health service is corroding its core values as a public NHS.
The next eight months until the general election will be crucial for the NHS. We are very clear in the Labour Party that we want a fully public NHS, integrated with social care and fit to care for Britain’s ageing population.