Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate Zöe Franklin “horrified” by latest GP appointment waiting times for Guildford residents.

1 Mar 2024
ZF outside Stoughton Road Surgery

Guildford’s Liberal Democrat candidate shares analysis of NHS data showing:

  • more than a million patients in our area wait more than two weeks to see a GP 
  • nearly 300,000 wait more than a month 

House of Commons Library research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats analysed NHS figures for GP appointment waiting times, comparing latest figures, for 2023, and 2022. 

The Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, which covers the Guildford constituency, reported in 2023:  

  • 1,050,789 patients waited two weeks or more to see a GP 
  • an increase of 18% on the previous year 
  • 294,176 patients waited more than four weeks 
  • an increase of 33% 

The NHS data measures the time between the appointment being booked, and when it took place.  

Zöe Franklin said: “I hear every day how let down and frustrated people are; patients waiting in distress and pain for the attention they need, and dedicated medical staff exhausted by doing their utmost to provide the best care, without the resources and funding they need. 

“We have all seen our precious NHS buckling after years of Conservative Government neglect. But seeing these latest figures, I am horrified at how badly the Conservatives have failed us.”

The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for a legal right to a GP appointment within seven days, or within 24 hours for a patient in urgent need. The Liberal Democrats want this enshrined in the NHS Constitution, putting a duty on the government and health service to make sure it happens. It would be achieved by increasing the number of GPs and increasing the number of nurses and pharmacists qualified to prescribe day to day medicines. 

Ms Franklin continued: “The delay in seeing a GP can mean waiting in pain and distress, and time off work or school. And we all know that early diagnosis of serious health conditions is vital. Our GPs are the first step on that path to further tests and treatment. The longer this failing Conservative Government limps on, this spiral of neglect will continue. The day this unelected Prime Minister calls a General Election cannot come soon enough.”