JESS discusses the Liberal Democrats' plan to increase the number of GPs

26 Jun 2024
JESS has her blood pressure checked by Dr Mike

Jess Brown- Fuller, the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Chichester this week discussed her party’s plans to increase the number of full-time equivalent GPs by 8,000 allowing patients to see their GP within a week or within 24 hours for urgent cases.

In a visit to a local GP practice, Jess heard from Dr Mike Lewis how a combination of early retirement, young doctors heading overseas to work and less hours being offered to locum doctors was leaving the primary care sector seriously short of GPs. Retention is very difficult as doctors become frustrated with the limited time available to spend with patients and the limited provision in secondary care resulting in long waiting times for treatment, he told Jess. 

The Lib Dems propose freeing up GPs’ time by giving more prescribing rights and public health advisory services to qualified pharmacists, nurse practitioners and paramedics. Their plan to shake up the NHS also includes introducing a universal 24/7 GP booking system and removing top-down bureaucracy to let practices hire the staff they need and invest in training.

“This Conservative government has failed to invest in, or deliver the change needed, to help our local health services cope. Thousands of patients in the Chichester area are facing long waits, often in terrible pain whilst waiting to see their GP or find it hard to navigate the booking system in their surgery,” said Jess.  

“I believe in our NHS and want to make it fit for purpose so that it can help make our country fit for purpose again. It should not be too much to ask for patients to be able to see their GP when they need to,” said Jess.

General Practice is the gateway to the NHS, it has always been nimble and adaptable but it is now struggling to cope, said Dr Lewis, pointing out that GPs are frustrated by the inability to see patients with multiple conditions for long enough and the ever-increasing waiting times to obtain treatment in secondary care.

The Liberal Democrat party has pledged to reduce cancer waiting times to ensure patients start treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral.

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