General practice funding has suffered cuts of hundreds of millions in real terms since David Cameron became Prime Minister, the Labour Party has said.
Total funds for general practice in England decreased by £245 million in real terms between 2009/10 and 2014/15, an analysis commissioned by the party from the House of Commons Library has shown.
It revealed that while spending on general practice increased in this period from £8.32 billion to £8.94 billion, this was a decrease in real terms.
The analysis also found that the proportion of the Department of Health’s budget spent on general practice has fallen to 8.1% in 2014/15 from 8.8% in 2009/10, with the real terms expenditure per head of population decreasing from £176 to £165 over the period since 2010 when Mr Cameron took office.
This comes after Pulse has reported that the NHS budget spend on general practice has decreased to 7.2% for 2016/17.
Labour also pointed out that according to the latest GP patient survey, 26.3% of people in England waited over a week to see a GP, or didn’t get an appointment at all when they last tried to get one – an increase of 3.51% from the previous year.
Heidi Alexander MP, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said that although ’David Cameron talks about a seven-day NHS’ the ‘reality’ was that he is ‘failing to deliver a five-day NHS and patient care is suffering as a result’.
She said; ’More than five years of David Cameron’s Government has left the NHS in meltdown and GP services in crisis.
’Millions more patients are struggling to see their family doctor and cuts to funding mean this situation is likely to get worse, not better.
’The Tories need to start taking some responsibility for this situation. Rather than standing by and doing nothing, we need to see a proper plan for improving the NHS and ensuring patients get the care they need, when they need it.’