Family Doctor Services

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:37 pm on 11th November 2004.

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Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather Liberal Democrat, Brent East 2:37 pm, 11th November 2004

Despite repeated assurances from my local primary care trust that the 48-hour access target should have no impact on forward-planned appointments, I have had a continuous run of complaints from two groups of patients in particular. The first is those who are chronically ill and find it impossible to book repeat appointments with the same doctor, and the second is those who work and want to book an appointment for, say, next Wednesday, so that they can take a little time off work. They find that the only way they can get an appointment is by starting to jam the phones at 8.30 am, book the whole day off and hope that they can get to see the doctor by the end of the day. That has huge implications for going to see a doctor when the situation is not urgent and people simply want to talk something through.