I'm delighted to support the Government's announcement of a new £250m Winter Access Fund to help patients with urgent care needs to get seen when they need to by their GP.
Our GP surgeries have been the absolute bedrock of the NHS throughout the pandemic; shouldering much of the COVID-19 vaccination programme alongside being busier than ever.
Across the pandemic, GPs have moved to remote appointments to protect patients and themselves; often being able to deal with issues more quickly over the phone than in person. For many patients, remote consultations can be more convenient; especially with busy work and family schedules.
At the same time, however, some patients are struggling to access face-to-face appointments when they want and need them, with many being offered a remote consultation first before accessing services in person. This is something which is frequently raised with my office by constituents who feel GP services are not returning to pre-pandemic service levels quick enough.
Demand for GP appointments following the COVID-19 pandemic remains incredibly high which is why I am delighted the Government has announced a new £250m Winter Access Fund to help patients with urgent care needs to get seen when they need to by their GP.
This includes funding overtime, recruiting additional staff, working with community pharmacies to help ease the pressure on GP, and £10 million towards improving GP telephone systems.
To support our local GP surgeries in Carshalton and Wallington following this announcement, I have written to all surgeries to offer my support in getting face-to-face appointments back to being the norm.
You can view my letter below, however if you have a personal experience with this issue which you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.