Labour leader Ed Miliband pledges those who need to, will see a GP on the day

Ed Miliband in Ipswich during the launch of Labour local election campaign.
Pictured at The Co-op Education Centre, Fore Street, Ipswich Ed Miliband in Ipswich during the launch of Labour local election campaign. Pictured at The Co-op Education Centre, Fore Street, Ipswich

Monday, May 12, 2014
7:01 PM

Everyone who needs to see a family doctor on the day will be given an appointment, and everyone else will be seen within 48 hours if Labour wins power, Ed Miliband has pledged.

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The Labour leader last night unveiled his £100m “GP guarantee”, which he said would improve services and ease pressure on hospitals.

Mr Miliband said the cash would come from abolishing the market framework introduced by the coalition Government and reducing spending on consultants and senior managers.

But the Tories said the promise was an “unfunded pie-in-the-sky policy that Labour can’t pay for and doctors can’t deliver”, claiming it was the “same old Labour”.

Labour’s promise comes just days analysis by the Royal College of GPs showed patients waited more than a week to see their GP on 47 million occasions in 2013 – one in six of all consultations.

Last month Prime Minister David Cameron announced that 7.5 million people in England would be offered increased access to more than 1,000 GP surgeries, with seven day opening and 8am to 8pm appointments.

However, officials from the Department of Health and NHS England admitted that services in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire would not be receiving any money from the Prime Minister’s £50m GP Access Fund.

In a speech in Manchester last night Mr Miliband said Labour would give all NHS patients contacting their surgery the right to:

• Consult a doctor or a nurse at their local GP surgery on the same day

• Get an appointment at their surgery on the same day if they need to be seen quickly

• Have a guaranteed appointment at their GP surgery within 48 hours

• Book an appointment more than 48 hours ahead with the GP of their choice

Mr Miliband said: “One of the greatest achievements of our NHS and the 20th Century is now also one of the greatest challenges for our NHS in the 21st Century. It’s great people are living longer - but it means the NHS is having to cope with people in their 80s and 90s that it never had to cope with before. They don’t simply have medical needs, but care needs which the NHS is not used to tackling.

“A hospital can only be as good as the services around it: access to the GP; care in the home; prevention, not just cure. If those things aren’t right, all of the problems end back up on the hospital. There is a greater need than ever before to make sure services are joined up so that people with chronic conditions can continue to live independently at home. And there are ever greater advances in medical awareness and technology: illnesses we once didn’t know existed we now know how to treat. So people’s expectations of care are rightly higher than ever before.”

But a Tory health spokesman said: “The last Labour government vandalised the relationship between GPs and their patients by introducing tick-box targets and scrapping family doctors, something we are now putting right.

“Far from improving access, another top-down target will leave GPs less time with their patients and put more pressure on general practice. The real solution is less micro-management and more GPs, something we’ve already committed to.”

17 comments

  • Ed has already been told by doctors and their representatives that this is an impossible promise to make. Obvious and in the same party political mindset, empty promises galore from all of them.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Easy to make a promise if you don't have to deliver... probably why the Rainbow alliance is finding it difficult. They never thought they'd get in!!!!

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    Andy T

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • You never could trust the Tories with the NHS and now it's their accomplices in the LibDems too.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Moribund and his bunch keep offering knee jerk promises to the world and his dog on headline items they cannot deliver, the only thing they can and will deliver is more spending with more debt.

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    blackdog2

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • That new writing centre. Does is do classes in grammar? Does it take people who do the headlines for the EDP?

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    alecto

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • Why do politicians make such ridiculous statements. Miiliband has openly stated that the EU is here to stay and with it the open borders and the free for all scramble for our NHS. The NHS doedn't stand a chance.

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    norman hall

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • An unfunded wish list again.Just how much can be paid for by taxing bank bonus's. At the very least Osbourne has a plan although painful is working .

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    PaulH

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

  • at least miliband talks sense on this. ukip want to privatise healthcare, and the libdemstories have plunged nhs satisfaction down into new levels. norman lamb should be ashamed.

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    Double Bill

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • I think that what he actually said was that he would 'try to ensure that this could happen.' A lot of get out clauses there!

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    la barbe

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • I think you're all missing the point. Newspapers only publish "positive" articles about the Labour Party to provide comic relief. They aren't supposed to be taken seriously. In the same spirit, I would also like to thank whoever was responsible for allowing such an infantile idiot to run as councillor for my part of Norwich. Best laugh I've had in years.

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    Jane

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • Reduce pressure on hospitals? How about having the guts (Blair tried and failed) to enforce all NHS trained consultants to ONLY work for the NHS instead of doing even more lucrative half or whole days in the private sector while 'the poor' have to wait even more for treatment!!! Imagine if state teachers suddenly decided that they'd like to do a day or two in the local private school? Chaos!! But that's ok - it's only education.

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    One Horse Town

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • And the moon is made of cheese.

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    Reader

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • Does he think we believe them any more?

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    John L Norton

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • Does anybody really believe this idiot? All you could see last time Labour was in power was a lot of mangers. He has no idea and he must think the public have short memories.

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    Sweet cheeks

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • It as Labour that wrecked the NHS with its tick box targets. All of the current scandals, Stafford, what is happening in Wales, occurred under their watch. And they introduced the GP contracts which have been, and continue to be, an expensive disaster!!

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    andy

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • I used to vote Labour until Blair and his cronies turned them into the New tory party, never again unless they go back to their old values.

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    Vic Sponge

    Monday, May 12, 2014

  • How many more labour promises are this paper going to print that we all know they can't keep? .new roads, new houses, fixed rents , same day to see a doctor.just a few.

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    pandy

    Monday, May 12, 2014

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