Hope to end '8am scramble' for GP appointments under new NHS plan

Doctor working at a GP surgery
-Credit: (Image: GETTY)


Brits can expect a myriad of changes to the NHS under the new Labour government, particularly in regards to their local GP surgeries. Among the sweeping changes expected to hit the health service at large is a reformation of how appointments are made and carried out.

At the start of the primary care journey, the new government intends to “train thousands more GPs” to provide more supply to support the growing demands of patients, “deliver a modern appointment booking system” and guarantee face-to-face appointments for those who want them.

Labour’s Manifesto detailed some of these changes to “end the 8 am scramble” for people hoping to book on-the-day GP appointments. It notes: “GPs are the front door to the health service for most people. Excellent primary care is the key to earlier diagnosis, but too often it is not possible to get an appointment, so Labour will reform the system.”

The government also hopes to take the pressure off these surgeries by allowing Brits to find care through alternative routes such as pharmacies and setting up Neighbourhood Health Centres. These centres will consist of family doctors, nurses, care workers, physiotherapists, palliative care and mental health practitioners in the hopes of spotting problems earlier.

In order to do this, Labour plans to move resources to primary care and community services over time. From the healthcare side, Labour intends to incentivise GPs to see the same patients.

This is in the hopes of bringing back the “family doctor” phenomenon allowing ongoing or complex medical issues to be dealt with more effectively. The final part of the Manifesto’s changes promises 700,000 more dentist appointments and highlights retaining NHS dentists as a priority.