It won’t shock those who know me to know that growing up I was incredibly accident prone. From shoulder injuries to concussions, if I could injure it, I found a way!

Luckily for me we had a fantastic local village GP, and whenever my latest accident drove my parents to despair, they could be counted on to see me, patch me up, and send me off on my merry way until the next opportunity for injury presented itself.

These days though, you don’t have to ask around far to realise that just getting to see a GP has become a battle.

For far too many it can mean calling up for weeks on end at 8am to try get through to reception, only to be told to ring back the next day.

Trying to see your GP should not be an endurance test. But the sad reality is far too many face the impossible choice of waiting with worsening symptoms or paying to go private.

While problems seeing a GP are far from unique to our area, they’ve been made worse locally by the failure to ensure the significant growth our towns and villages have seen in recent years has been matched by significant investment in the doctors, dentists and the wider infrastructure we all need.

As an MP I’m determined to do my bit to help improve things locally. That’s why I’ve rolled up my sleeves and worked across bureaucracy and party lines to help move forward the long overdue improvements locally we desperately need.

Working with the local NHS I’ve pushed for rollouts of systems to help make the 8am rush a thing of the past, and I’ve kickstarted a taskforce with key decision makers and residents to help break through the deadlocks that have stalled plans on new and expanded GP surgeries.

While I will do all I can to play my part, it’s clear we need national government to do theirs. We need fundamental reform of our NHS to get things back on track.

Despite the Government promises, they have failed to deliver 6,000 extra NHS GPs. The number of fully qualified GPs has fallen and hundreds of practices have closed since the last election alone.

We can’t allow this to go on. Learning from the challenges faced in areas like ours I’m proud Labour has pledged to invest in training the doctors and delivering the system changes needed to ensure that we can get back to having face-to-face GP appointments when we need them.

And just as importantly to bring back the family doctor by incentivising GPs to ensure those who would benefit from seeing the same doctor, can do so.  

For too long we’ve allowed long waits and battles to see a GP to become the norm.

It’s time to get back to ensuring a doctor will be there for all of us when we need it and ensure the injury prone kids of the future can be in safe hands again!