February 7th, 2024.

Funding for GP services in Sussex has been slashed by £6.1 million in real terms since 2019, research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The House of Commons Library analysis looks at funding for General Practices over the past four years once inflation is taken into account. It shows that funding per patient across the local NHS Integrated Care Board ICB area, including Lewes, Seaford, Newhaven, Polegate and Willingdon, has fallen by 5% since 2019.

It comes despite growing demand for GP services and patients often having to wait weeks to get an appointment.

Nationally, GP practices have received a 6.9% real terms cut in funding per patient since 2019, whilst NHS waiting lists are near record numbers at 7.6 million.

Liberal Democrats are calling for patients to be given a legal right to see their GP within seven days, or 24-hours if in urgent need. This would be achieved by increasing the number of fully qualified GPs by 8,000 with an initiative to boost recruitment and retain more experienced doctors.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Lewes constituency, James MacCleary, said: “Families and pensioners in our area are currently struggling to see their GP despite being in need of medical advice. It is leaving people waiting in pain or simply anxious about not getting the care they need.

“It is not right that our community is suffering the consequences of this Conservative government’s neglect of local health services, especially when our MP, Maria Caulfield, is a government health minister. She seems to put a lot of time into making excuses for her government's failures on health nationally, but very little into supporting our local communities.

“Seeing your GP should be at the heart of our NHS. That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for a legal right to see a GP within seven days or 24-hours if in urgent need.”
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