Thousands of patients in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes are being rushed through an appointment with their GP in less than 5 minutes, new research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
Milton Keynes Liberal Democrats have blasted the "stark postcode lottery" facing people in the area, with 64710 GP appointments in April clocking in at under 5 minutes. The party has raised fears that many patients are not being seen for long enough by their doctor to be properly assessed.
The new figures show that 22.33% of GP appointments in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes in April lasted for under 5 minutes while 50.29% lasted for under 10 minutes.
Out of the 289725 GP appointments in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes that month, a staggering 64710 were under 5 minutes long and 80990came in at under 10 minutes.
NHS figures show that across England as a whole, around one in five (22%) of the 16.6 million GP appointments in April lasted five minutes or less. Only half of all appointments across the country lasted longer than 10 minutes.
Commenting on GP services in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, Liberal Democrat Milton Keynes Councillor Jane Carr Cabinet Member For In equalities said:
"These figures expose a stark postcode lottery as GP services are stretched to breaking point. People in Milton Keynes deserve better.
"The Conservatives promised to recruit more family doctors but they are nowhere to be seen in our area.
"Even once people manage to get an appointment, too often they are rushed through because doctors have to fit so many patients in.
"Doctors need to have time to properly assess their patients, especially those with conditions that are complex or getting worse whilst waiting for hospital treatment.
"Instead patients in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes are being treated like goods on a factory conveyor belt. It is completely unsustainable and the Government needs to get a grip."