Labour's NHS overhaul plans to end '8am scramble' for GP appointments

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

Brits are set to see a host of changes to the NHS under the new Labour government, with a particular focus on local GP surgeries. Sweeping reforms are expected across the health service, including an overhaul of appointment systems.

The new government has plans to "train thousands more GPs" to meet the increasing patient demand, introduce a "deliver a modern appointment booking system" and ensure that those who prefer face-to-face consultations can secure them.

Labour's Manifesto outlines these initiatives to "end the 8 am scramble" for same-day GP appointments, stating: "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."

To alleviate pressure on GP surgeries, the government is also looking at alternative care pathways, such as pharmacies, and the establishment of Neighbourhood Health Centres. These centres would bring together family doctors, nurses, care workers, physiotherapists, palliative care specialists, and mental health professionals to facilitate early problem detection.

Labour's strategy includes shifting resources towards primary care and community services over time. Additionally, the party aims to encourage GPs to build ongoing relationships with their patients by seeing the same individuals consistently, reports Gloucestershire Live.

In an endeavour to revive the concept of "family doctor", this move aims to enhance the efficiency in addressing ongoing or complex medical issues. The last segment of the Manifesto's changes vows an additional 700,000 dentist appointments and emphasises on retaining NHS dentists as a higher priority.