May 10, 2023 5:16 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

299,020 GP appointments within the South Lakes lasted less than five minutes in the last year, new research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The Liberal Democrats have warned the Conservative government that their failure to recruit more GPs has meant patients are waiting weeks for an appointment which they are rushed through in a matter of minutes.

Cumbria's GPs are working incredibly hard, under enormous pressure and demonstrating amazing skill and dedication, but there are fewer and fewer of them.

Within Morecambe Bay Hospital Trust, 17% of all GP appointments between March 2022 and February 2023 were less than five minutes. Within North Cumbria's Hospital Trust that figure rises to 18.2% of GP appointments.

Tim and the Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to recruit 8000 more GPs which would allow the government to give patients a legal right to see a GP within seven days.

Nationally, analysis of Commons Library statistics show almost one in six GP appointments in England are lasting less than five minutes. This is 17.2% of all appointments across the country.

Speaking today, Tim said: "Patients in Cumbria deserve the time to properly talk through their health concerns with their GP. Especially, if those symptoms are complex.

"The Government has failed to recruit the extra GPs they promised. It means doctors are being forced to cram their weeks full and are working harder than ever before to care for their patients, many of whom have already been waiting weeks.

"The government needs to give GP surgeries in rural areas the funding they need to recruit and retain GPs - they recently removed the special funding for small rural surgeries.

"Our communities are paying the price of Conservative neglect of areas like ours, and leaving our brilliant GPs in such a beleaguered state."