GP Appointment Availability — [Mr Laurence Robertson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 26th October 2021.

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Photo of Joy Morrissey Joy Morrissey Conservative, Beaconsfield 2:30 pm, 26th October 2021

I thank the hon. Lady for her contribution. I agree that the problem has a trickle-down effect throughout the NHS. We will see more people presenting at A&E and perhaps with more advanced stages of disease, because they have not been seen in person. Encouraging GPs or creating a covid incentive programme for them to see people in person will decrease the amount of hospital admissions and lead to earlier diagnosis for cancer and heart disease. These things can really only be done in person. If someone is healthy and just needs a phone appointment, that is fine, but certain things cannot be seen unless a person’s vitals—their heart pressure—can be physically checked. Only a GP can do that and really only in person. If we want to reduce the overall burden on the NHS this winter, finding a safe and secure way for more residents to see their GP will reduce the overall pressure long term on the NHS. I know we have an aging population, and that GPs are under huge amounts of pressure and strain, but I believe there is a way we can work together to find a solution.