Surgery opening times cash ‘snub’ to Keighley

Keighley News: John Grogan John Grogan

Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused of snubbing Keighley after the town missed out on cash to extend GP surgery opening times.

A £50 million government pot will only benefit 28 doctors’ practices across the whole of Yorkshire and none in Bradford district, says Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Keighley, John Grogan.

He said this is despite more than 1,000 practices nationally being included in the pilot.

“I’m angry at David Cameron’s snub, which means thousands of patients here will continue to difficulty in getting a doctor’s appointment only get worse,” added Mr Grogan.

“People in Keighley and across the district often have to wait far too long to see their doctor. When they heard the government say it had plans to rectify this, they’ll have been relieved, but now we discover David Cameron’s not going to spend a penny of that £50 million on us.

“This government has removed the guarantee of a GP appointment within 48 hours implemented by the last Labour government, and has cut the funding for surgeries to stay open later.

“Before today, there were 854 fewer GP practices in England – including in Bradford district – offering extended opening hours than there were in 2010, yet the government has ignored our district in announcing this fund.”

But Keighley’s Tory MP Kris Hopkins said he and the government were “absolutely committed” to the NHS locally.

“This was underlined most recently when Airedale Hospital was allocated millions of pounds of government resources for a new Accident & Emergency department, which will have a very positive impact on local services,” he said.

“We have kept our pledge to increase NHS spending in real terms every year. This is in stark contrast to a Labour party, which would cut health spending and has already made a mess of the NHS in Wales where powers are devolved.

“Patients in England have not forgotten that Andy Burnham – Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary – failed the NHS when he was Gordon Brown’s Health Secretary in the last Labour government. Local services are not safe in Labour’s hands.”

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