More than 200,000 people in South-west London waited more than four weeks to see a GP last year

More than 200,000 people in South-west London waited more than four weeks to see a GP last year, new data has revealed.

Research from the House of Commons Library – commissioned by the Liberal Democrats – shows that 210,007 people waited more than four weeks for a GP appointment in South-west London last year – a 31 per cent increase on 2022.

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

The figures also show that the number of patients waiting two weeks or longer topped the million mark for the first time ever, at 1,021,610, in 2023. 

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a legal right to see a GP within seven days, or 24 hours if in urgent need. The party said the policy should be enshrined in the NHS Constitution, and could only be achieved by increasing the number of fully-qualified GPs.

Councillor Paul Kohler, Liberal Democrat Wimbledon Parliamentary candidate, said: “Far too many people are struggling to get a doctors’ appointment. It causes huge anxiety because they can’t be confident of getting the care they need. 

“It also means some people end up not seeking help when they really should.

“High-quality and timely healthcare gives people the freedom to live the lives they choose, and a thriving economy needs a healthy population.

“Being able to see a GP when you need to should not be too much to ask, but even on this measure people are being failed after years of neglect by this Conservative Government.”

The Department of Health and Social Care has been approached for comment.

Pictured top: A hospital waiting room (Picture: Wikimedia Commons – Kolforn)

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