Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Tom Blenkinsop, has today (30th June 2014) claimed that the latest crisis in Accident and Emergencies across the country is proof that access to local health services is vital for the future of our NHS.
His comments came following research by Imperial College London that showed ‘as many as 5.77 million visits to A&E departments in England are a result of patients not being able to see their GP’.
“Under David Cameron, it has got harder and harder to get a GP appointment and that is forcing record numbers through the doors of A&E.
“When Cameron came to power, the vast majority of people could see a GP within 48 hours. Within days of taking office, he scrapped Labour’s guarantee of an appointment within 48 hours. Today, one in four can’t get an appointment in the same week. It is a mess of his making and is simply not good enough.
“This research also comes on a day when we see local NHS services in East Cleveland – namely Skelton Medical Centre – being lost due to Government cuts. In a couple of months’ time it is highly likely that Park End will lose its clinic. I dread to think what burden this will transfer onto what has been a severely under pressure A&E service at James Cook.
“Labour will stop the rot and invest £100 million, saved by scrapping Cameron’s market rules, to help patients get a GP appointment when they need one – either within 48 hours or a same-day consultation with a doctor or nurse.
“People can see how quickly the NHS is now heading downhill under this Government. GP services are in freefall and A&E departments are in the middle of their worst year in at least a decade. It is why people do not trust David Cameron with the NHS.”