Thousands sign petition against cuts to GPs

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Thousands of people have signed petitions against NHS funding cuts which could lead to the district having 38 fewer GPs.

The petitions have been handed to NHS bosses by MPs Mary Creagh, Jon Trickett, Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls.

The MPs said 34 of the district’s GP surgeries were facing budget cuts of almost £4m next year.

The cash is equivalent to 38 full-time doctors or 95 full-time practice nurses.

Wakefield MP Ms Creagh said: “I am totally opposed to the government slashing £3.8 million from GP budgets in our area, which could force small practices to close.

“On the doorstep people tell me that when they want an appointment they are left ringing the surgery early in the morning, only to be told nothing is available for days.

“We need to increase access to GPs if we are to stop people turning up at A&E.”

The MPs said more GPs were needed because 35,000 people in the district were unable to get a doctor’s appointment within a week.

Hemsworth MP Mr Trickett said: “Understandably, local people have been extremely alarmed by these proposals and we have had thousands of signatures so far.

“These cuts could see practices closing and many doctors and nurses being lost.”

The MPs are calling on district NHS bosses to work with surgeries to campaign against the budget cuts.

Final decisions on the district’s NHS funding will be taken next year.