Worst-hit parts of Britain where month-long waits for GP appointments have risen 80%

NEARLY one in ten patients waited four weeks for a GP appointment in parts of England last year, analysis shows as A&E delays soared.

Some 17.6million people in the country waited nearly a month to be seen by a doctor, up 38 per cent from 12.8million the previous year, according to NHS figures.

GP appointments feel harder to get than ever

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GP appointments feel harder to get than everCredit: Getty

Waits increased almost 80 per cent in the worst affected regions of the country, the Lib Dem analysis shows.

MPs warned the Government has “failed to get a grip on this GP crisis” as separate figures showed more than 250 patients were dying each week due to long A&E waits last year.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “These soaring GP waits show a grim postcode lottery, with communities being abandoned when it comes to local health services.

“Far too many people are being left in limbo, waiting for weeks on end to get a GP appointment when they need one.

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“It should not be too much to ask to be able to see a GP when you need to.”

The new figures show every local area in the country saw a rise in four-week GP waits in 2023 compared to the previous year. 

Gloucestershire was the worst in the country with 9.4 per cent of GP appointments involving waits of over a month in 2023.

The Vale of York saw a 79 per cent increase in GP waits of four weeks or more, the largest increase in the country.  

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Bury saw a 74 per cent jump, East Leicestershire and Rutland saw a 69 per cent rise and Blackpool a 68 per cent increase.

It comes after separate figures showed more than 1.5million patients waited 12 hours or more in major emergency departments in 2023.

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Calculations by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) suggest patients are coming to harm due to spending hours in A&E.

The RCEM found there was one excess death for every 72 patients that spent eight to 12 hours in an A&E department.

It estimated an average of 268 excess deaths are likely to have occurred each week in 2023.

Labour MP Nick Thomas Symonds told GB News: “It’s truly shocking to see those statistics. These are people’s lives. 

“We have been warning about this and the dangerous situation in A&E for a lengthy period of time.

“This isn’t a danger the Government has suddenly become aware of. This is happening, frankly, because of the lack of capacity that there now is in the National Health Service.”

Worst performing areas for GP four-week waits in 2023

Highest proportion of patients waiting four weeks in 2023:

  1. Gloucestershire – 9.4 per cent
  2. Derby and Derbyshire – 9.4 per cent
  3. Sheffield – 9.3 per cent
  4. Dorset – 8.7 per cent

Largest year-on-year rise in patients waiting four weeks:

  1. Vale of York – 79 per cent 
  2. Bury – 74 per cent
  3. East Leicestershire and Rutland – 69 per cent
  4. Blackpool – 68 per cent