Thousands of people who failed to get a GP appointment ended up in A&E last year, new figures suggest.
Taking figures from an official NHS England patient survey, the Labour party have calculated that about 2,700 people went to hospital for help after failing to get a GP appointment over six months last year.
The party blame the Government’s decision to abolish the 48-hour appointment guarantee after the last election, and have pledged to reinstate it should they be elected this May.
Nancy Platts, Labours’ candidate for MP in Brighton Kempton and Peacehaven said: “We are now starting to get a real sense of what’s causing the crisis in our A&E Departments.
“Our staff in the NHS work incredibly hard but how can they be expected to cope when around 2,700 people in our area were forced into the local A&E Departments because they couldn’t see a doctor.
“Cameron and this government are failing thousands of people living here when we need it the most – when we are sick. Every day it seems, we are getting more and more evidence that we simply can’t trust the Tories with our NHS.”
The figures, which relate to January to March and July to September last year and are based on patient questionnaires, have been published as the Royal Sussex asks patients to stay away from A&E unless they have a genuine medical emergency.
And earlier this month, A&E consultant Rob Galloway slammed the Government’s track record, accusing David Cameron of lying about NHS investment.
Across England, nearly one million patients (930,901) turned to A&E when they couldn’t see a GP. The survey also found one in four patients waits a week or more for an appointment after the Government’s decision to abolish the 48-hour appointment guarantee after the last election.