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NHS IN CRISIS Major change to GP appointments revealed in massive NHS shake up

NHS IN CRISIS Major change to GP appointments revealed in massive NHS shake up

PATIENTS should be able to see a GP within a fortnight and on the same day if their case is urgent, Therese Coffey pledged today.

Sun Newspaper

In a major statement in the Commons the Health Secretary laid out her strategy to save the NHS from falling apart.

Revealing "Our Plan for Patients", Dr Coffey - who is also Deputy PM - vowed to concentrate on health service users.

She announced that GP phone systems will be modernised so people are not forced to repeatedly call back when lines are engaged.

Pharmacies will help free-up GPs by doling out more drugs - such as the contraceptive pill - without a doctor’s prescription.

The Health Department thinks this should create space for up to two million GP appointments.


And the government will try and rally the million-strong volunteers who stepped up during the pandemic to help the NHS once again, by supporting the autumn booster roll-out and other key initiatives.

Meanwhile, ministers are exploring the creation of an ambulance auxiliary service, similar to the St John Ambulance organisation.

To tackle social care, a £500 million care discharge fund will come into force this winter.

Local NHS trusts will work with councils on targeted plans for specific care packages to support people at home or in the wider community.

And to reduce horrible waiting times to see a dentist the Health Secretary plans to streamline routes into NHS dentistry for those trained overseas so they can start treating patients more quickly.

Dr Coffey said: "I want to reduce waiting times for patients and apply a laser like focus on ambulance delays.

"I will put a laser-like focus on the needs of patients, making their priorities my priorities and being a champion for them on issues that affect them most."

NHS waiting times have skyrocketed in the aftermath of the pandemic, with one in eight people in England currently waiting on routine hospital treatment.

Around 377,689 patients have been waiting for longer than a YEAR.

The health and social care levy introduced by Boris Johnson in April is providing £36 billion to tackle the backlog.

The tax hike is set to be scrapped in tomorrow's mini budget - but the PM said she will maintain funding levels through borrowing.

Responding to Ms Coffey's plan for the NHS, Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said: "If there were any evidence needed that this is a government and a party that is out of ideas, out of times and out of a clue as to scale of the challenge facing our country - it is this statement.

"We've gone from an NHS that treated patients well and on time when Labour were in office 12 years ago, to an annual winter crisis.

"The Conservatives promising to fix the crisis in the NHS is like the arsonist promising to put out the fire they started."

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