GP crisis worsens as Great Denham surgery requires improvement
Latest national figures show 6.2 million people, or one in four, waited over eight days to get a GP appointment in February
Residents in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes waited over eight days to get a GP appointment 29% of the time.
The Village Medical Centre in Great Denham has also recently been rated as "Requires Improvement" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have slammed the broken Conservative promise to hire more GPs and demanded an urgent recruitment and service plan to improve accessibility in the area.
A staggering 6.2 million people waited over eight days for a GP appointment in February, Liberal Democrat research has revealed. This is up 9% from the previous month, when 5.7 million waited for eight days or more to see their GP.
The analysis of the latest NHS figures shows that more than one in four people (29%) in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, waited over eight days in February before being able to see their family doctor. Worse still, 15,000 people (3.6%) were left waiting a month or more for a GP appointment.
Meanwhile the Village Medical Centre in Great Denham has recently been rated as "Requires Improvement" by the Care Quality Commission. The Liberal Democrats said this latest rating and figures reveal the impact that years of Conservative neglect and broken promises have had on GP services. The Conservatives are four years behind on their manifesto pledge to recruit 6,000 more GPs by 2025.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on Health Secretary Sajid Javid to publish a strategy to tackle GP shortages and meet the government's own recruitment targets. The party said urgent action is needed to train more GPs and encourage experienced doctors to stay on in the profession, as many are considering early retirement or leaving altogether. In Bedford Borough especially, there is an urgent need for greater provision of surgeries.
Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, Councillor Dean Crofts said "The Conservatives have broken their promise to recruit more GPs, leaving millions of people struggling to get an appointment when they need one. Desperate people are turning up at A&E instead, piling pressure on the NHS at a time it can least afford it.
"Local health services are suffering after years of neglect under this government which has driven them into the ground. We are calling for a proper plan to recruit the GPs the country desperately needs, improving working conditions in order to prevent so many doctors leaving or retiring early."
Liberal Democrat Councillor Hilde Hendrickx said "Our residents need greater access to GP surgeries. These long waiting times can mean important diagnoses are late or don't even happen at all because residents are put off from seeing their doctor. This is a very concerning situation and the fact that one of our GP surgeries now requires improvement is a clear sign that this government need to do more for Bedford Borough and nationwide."
If you want a fair deal for Bedford Borough with an increase in the number of GPs in our area to provide improved access for those in need, sign the Liberal Democrat petition https://bedfordlibdems.org.uk/en/petition/gp-shortage