Wes Streeting speech: Labour promises face-to-face GP appointments

2 months ago 19
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Wes StreetingImage source, Getty Images

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Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting is delivering a speech to Labour's conference

Labour wants GPs in England to provide face-to-face appointments for anyone who wants them.

The government is promising to improve access to GPs, including same-day appointments.

New Health Secretary Therese Coffey has said GPs will be able to take on extra staff, but has not promised face-to-face access for all.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting will go further in a speech to Labour's conference on Wednesday.

"Patients are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment when they need one, in the manner they want one," he will say.

"The Conservatives have closed hundreds of practices since the 2019 election and are breaking their manifesto promise to hire more GPs.

"Labour will train the doctors our NHS needs to treat patients on time by doubling the number of medical school places. We will require GPs to give patients the choice of where and when they want their appointments. Patients must come first."

Patients would be able to choose to have their appointment over the phone or video if it is more convenient, under Labour's plans. The party is also promising to make booking appointments simpler.

On Monday, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves announced what she claimed was a plan for the biggest expansion of the workforce in the history of the NHS.

Ms Reeves promised to double the number of district nurses qualifying every year, train more than 5,000 new health visitors, create an additional 10,000 nursing and midwifery placements every year

The number of medical school places would also be doubled.

Ms Reeves said the plan would be paid for by scrapping the 45% top rate of income tax.

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