Andrew Smith MP

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Andrew backs Labour's new guarantee for patients to see a GP within 48 hours

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As part of Labour's plans to improve services for patients and ease pressure on local hospitals, Andrew Smith MP has backed Labour's new guarantee that under a future Labour government patients would be able to see a GP within 48 hours or on the same day if they need to be seen quickly.

GP surgeries across the country will be given an extra £100 million a year to achieve this massive improvement in standards - enough to pay for an additional three million GP appointments every year. It will also ease the pressure across the NHS and could save millions of pounds by reducing the number of patients going to A&E departments.

At the same time that Labour unveiled its new guarantee for patients, new figures showed that the proportion of patients getting a GP appointment in 48 hours has fallen from 80 per cent under the last Labour government to just 40 per cent under the Lib Dem / Tory Coalition Government.

Andrew said: "Local patients are fed up of waiting for days before being seen by a local GP. Under the Lib Dem / Tory Coalition Government a quarter of people now cannot get an appointment with a GP in the same week, adding to the pressure on our A&E departments. This scandal can't continue. That's why I'm backing Labour's plan to raise standards, to once again put patients first and to guarantee them an appointment with a local GP within 48 hours or on the same day if they need to be seen quickly.

"Constituents and NHS workers have told me that they are fed up with the Coalition's broken promises to protect our National Health Service. It just goes to show that the Lib Dems and Tories can't be trusted with our NHS."

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