Sheffield GP waiting times increase as health service crisis continues

New figures show that over 26,000 people in Sheffield have waited over a month for a GP appointment.

The statistics were taken from Labour analysis of NHS England findings from the past five months.

Sheffield Labour Party recently released its manifesto to which it has pledged to invest in resilient communities, increase funding to neighbourhood investment and continue to fight for access to GPs and other primary care.

Ruth Milsom, Chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee in Sheffield, said: “The workforce issue obviously isn’t going to be solved overnight however some people do leave the profession [for] early retirement, moved into private practice or reduced their hours due to the stress.

“That is something we can do something about; we can make the NHS the default most attractive place to work.”

The figures were revealed as the shadow health secretary Wes Streeting hit out at ‘broken promises’ to improve the health service and pledged to train 7,500 more doctors and 10,000 more nurses a year.

Mr Streeting said: “Patients are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment when they need one, after 13 years of Conservative broken promises and understaffing of the NHS.

“These unacceptable waiting times mean illness will go undiagnosed for longer, while patients are left in pain and discomfort for weeks or even months.”

A Conservative party spokesman, said: “In the past 12 months in England, we have recruited over 5,100 more doctors – making it easier to see a GP and helping to cut waiting lists.”

Despite this recruitment drive the number of patients waiting for NHS hospital treatment has risen to seven million (figures taken from NHS England, at the end of 2022) rising from below two million in 2010.

Sheffield nurses will be joining strike action proposed by the Royal College of Nursing from Sunday evening until Tuesday evening regarding disputes over pay.

Coun Milsom said: “I absolutely support strikes because if something has come to that point you are at desperation and breaking point.”

Referring to strikes by junior doctors, she added: “Thirty-five per cent sounds like a heck of a lot but that’s pay restoration, its massive but what its saying is that that’s how much their pay has dropped since 2010 under this government.”

Written by James Morgan-Wynne

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