Sheffield patients waiting two months to see a doctor

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Patients in Sheffield are waiting up to two months to see a doctor, a budding MP says.

Louise Haigh, Labour candidate for Heeley in the general election, said she had spoken to residents who had to wait eight weeks to get an appointment at their GP’s surgery.

Labour has promised to bring back the right to see a GP in 48 hours if it gets back into Government.

Miss Haigh said: “Waiting times across the country are on the up thanks to the Government’s handling of the NHS and its top-down reorganisation which means GPs simply don’t have the time to see patients.

“I knew the situation was bad - over 15 per cent of people are waiting over a week in Sheffield for a GP appointment - but while I’ve been out talking to people about the issue it’s clear the situation is simply unacceptable.

“I spoke to people on long term sick who had waited two months for an appointment, to parents who struggled to get their kids in and were forced to go to A&E, and to people in work who simply couldn’t get an appointment at all.”

NHS England in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw said demand for GP services had increased in the last decade, but so had the number of clinicians in general practice. Consultations with nurses, on the phone and online were more common.

In Sheffield 75 per cent of practices provided extended hours, and 85 per cent of patients said their experience was ‘good’ in a survey.

A spokesman added: “In some areas patient demand has increased faster than current capacity, and we are looking to address this.

“When patients need to see a clinician urgently, GP surgeries sometimes have to prioritise appointments on clinical need.”