Alice welcomes Shadow Health Secretary to Norwich as Labour pledge new doctors, nurses and midwives to improve services for patients in Norwich North

6 people standing outside Lionwood Medical Practice

Labour is pledging one of the biggest expansions of the NHS workforce in history, so patients in Norfolk are seen on time again.

The party are promising that patients will be guaranteed a face-to-face appointment with a GP if they want one. While some patients prefer to hold appointments over the phone, many are frustrated at not being able to see their doctor in person, and just 22% of patients are given a choice in the type of appointment they have. Almost one in six people who tried to speak to a nurse or GP were unable to get an appointment at all last year.

Labour has announced it will bring back the family doctor, so patients can see the same GP each appointment if they choose to. Patients are increasingly unable to see the doctor of their choice, with 2 in 3 patients rarely or never speaking to their preferred doctor, up from just half in 2018. Under Labour’s plans, GP practices will be provided with incentives to offer patients continuity of care, so doctors must take into account patients’ preferences

 NHS figures reveal that there are 131 fewer GPs across Norfolk today than in 2013. The Conservatives pledged to hire 6,000 GPs at the 2019 General Election, but have since admitted they are failing to keep their promise. The Government cut the number of medical school places this summer by 3,000, meaning fewer young people are training to become doctors.

 Labour’s plans to train the doctors and nurses the NHS needs to treat patients on time again would:

  • Double the number of medical school places
  • Create 10,000 new nursing and midwifery placements each year
  • Double the number of district nurses qualifying each year
  • Provide 5,000 new health visitors 

The plans will be paid for by abolishing non-dom tax status, which allows residents of the UK to avoid paying taxes here. 

 Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary and Alice Macdonald visited Lionwood medical centre in Norwich on Thursday 10th November where they spoke to staff, patients and medical students about their experiences.

Norwich North residents are invited to share their experiences of GP and dental waiting times with Alice by completing a short and straightforward survey.  People do not need to share their name or any details if they do not wish to  do so and there is an opportunity to share any wider concerns that matter to you and your family. Residents’ experience will help Alice understand the extent of the problem people are experiencing and where the pressure points are.