Doctors’ hours ‘lengthen waits’

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Patients are being forced to wait as long as three weeks to see GPs after practices reduced evening and weekend appointments, Labour said.

About 5.7 per cent fewer surgeries now offer appointments outside normal working hours, according to research by the party.

Last year, half England’s Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) reported fewer GP surgeries offering care outside normal working hours – suggesting that people now go to A&E departments after one million extra visits were recorded last year, compared to 2009/10.

Shadow Sealth Secretary Andy Burnham said David Cameron had broken his pre-election pledge that all patients could see GPs until “8pm seven days a week”.