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Independents' Day

Boris Johnson pledges to reduce GP waiting times in first speech as PM

The UK’s new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has pledged to reduce GP waiting times and ‘fix the crisis’ in social care ‘once and for all’ in his first speech in the job.

The Conservative MP and former foreign secretary announced a series of priorities for his leadership, including reducing appointment waiting times and investing in secondary care. 

Speaking outside Downing Street, Mr Johnson, said: ‘My job is to make sure you don’t have to wait three weeks to see your GP and we start work this week with 20 new hospital upgrades and ensuring that the money in the NHS really does get to the front line.’

He added his commitment to fixing the cost of social care for ‘once and for all’.

He said: ‘My job is to protect you, or your parents, or your grandparents from the fear of having to sell your home to pay for the costs of care. So, I am announcing now, on the steps of Downing Street that we will fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.’

It comes after a 15% increase in patients waiting a month for a GP appointment, according to a BMA report.

Recent official data showed that 5% of patients have to wait for a month to see their GP.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May, who officially left her position today, had previously heralded ‘proper funding for mental health’ as one of her major achievements while in office.

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Readers' comments (36)

  • Great saved again. Just like Hunts 5000 GPs he promised in 2015. It's a shame they're never in the job long enough to see it through and gullible journalists dont hold them to account

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  • I am not so sceptical. It is also a very public hostage to fortune.

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  • David Banner

    Boris wants us to be optimistic and stop talking down the NHS, so here are a few positive ideas to drive down GP waiting times.
    1- 5 minute appointments (that’ll half the wait immediately)
    2- help yourself to pre-signed sick notes and penicillin scrips (just fill in the rest yourself)
    3- don’t waste time calling people in to an office, the GP can go round the waiting room with a secretary (“your problem sir? Uh-huh, mmm, yep, right...ok, 20mg Prozac for a month and see counsellor , moving on, yes madam?”)
    4- force lazy golfing GPs back to 24/7 OOH care, with surgeries 7 days a week, they’ll pack ‘em into daytime so they don’t get called at night.
    5- ban taking pension early, force GPs to work until they’re 67
    6- force all newly qualified doctors to do 2 years national service as a GP
    7- abolish partnerships immediately, make them all salaried, and put them on full time contracts
    8- reduce GP annual leave to 2 weeks a year
    9- abolish CCGs, networks and all other QUANGOs that lazy GPs use to skive off seeing patients to sit on useless committees.
    10- and if 1-9 doesn’t work, sack the useless lot of them and replace with cheap compliant noctors. You can’t complain about the time it takes to see a GP if there are no GPs, right?

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  • Bornjovial

    It will be you notorious video consultation platform available for everyone and hey presto waiting list solved.
    Never mind the one who truly need our help will not be covered by this.
    I hope they increase funding for the ones truly needing help lots of ill people will suffer

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  • Harry, Boris the socialist?? lol

    |Bornjovial | GP Partner/Principal|25 Jul 2019 9:00am

    Increase funding for the ones truly needing help? Who decides? The state? The ones who are less responsible with your money than you are? And less competent?
    That's how we've ended up in this position in the first place.

    No, the libertarian standpoint is the only position shown to truly help those it purports to help. Reduce state size/spending/taxes, free individuals to do what they do best.

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  • Bornjovial

    Hi Christopher Ho,
    If they wish to have a state service only for those who are at the lowest economic group, the options would be to subsidise Insurance for those who can take private Insurance or ability to transfer part of NI payment towards health Insurance and have an NHS for the "rest".
    That left over "NHS" would quickly deteriorate and maybe able to provide only basic health service.
    NHS is trying to be everything to everyone and that is not working.
    Without a significant funding boost to NHS budget it cannot continue as it is. The cost of funding more for NHS would be less budget for other departments -Schools. defence, social care etc- so there we go again

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  • To have aspirations is surely a good thing, is it not, the three years wasted by stagnating dithering Mrs May cannot have been any better than now, can it?
    So folks, let him have a chance! It might all come tumbling down like a house of cards but and I mean but, our experience with Mrs May’s friend Karen Bradley has been very poor as Secretary of State for NI, so Anything has to be better than the last three years has been for us at least.....

    The alternative of a Corbyn government is unthinkable for me as we would soon learn how bad things could actually get.....

    Let’s see what transpires, it is too early to know whether the Boris premiership will work or not so perhaps we need to wait and see.....

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  • David Banner - what are you playing at? You're liable to find yourself appointed Health Sec & expected to implement your suggestions. 4-8 are quite possible, 9 is sensible & 10 is the long term aim of both main political parties.

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  • Amazing but True :
    Gordon Brown said EXACTLY the same on his first day in office as PM. Spooky.

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  • BornJovial "Without a significant funding boost to NHS budget it cannot continue as it is"

    That is true, but the solution is not to increase funding to it. We've been increasing funding to it yrly for decades, to what end? Generations of dependence and lack of personal responsibility. Similarly for welfare.

    Plus, our national debt is increasing every yr. You might be happy to mortgage your childrens' futures, but I rather you not support mortgaging mines. You might be happy to pay for x number of random others healthcare/welfare, and for the state to enforce this, but I rather have the freedom to choose who and how I help.

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