A CAMPAIGN for better GP facilities in Thornbury and Yate has been launched by an MP hopeful. 

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Claire Young is calling for patients to be given a legal right to see their GP within seven days, or 24 hours if in urgent need.

It is understood this would be achieved by increasing the number of fully qualified GPs with an initiative to boost recruitment and retain more experienced doctors.

Based on data taken from The House of Commons Library, the Lib Dems claim the Conservatives have cut GP funding by 6.9 per cent per patient in real terms nationally since 2019.

The same analysis shows that funding per patient across the local NHS Integrated Care Board ICB area, including Thornbury and Yate, has fallen by 6.2 per cent since 2019.

Ms Young, who is also council leader at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “Families and pensioners in Thornbury and Yate are currently struggling to see their GP despite being in need of medical advice. 

“It is leaving people waiting in pain or simply anxious about not getting the care they need.

“It is not right that our community is suffering the consequences of this Conservative government’s neglect of local health services.

“Seeing your GP should be at the heart of our NHS. 

“That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for a legal right to see a GP within seven days or 24-hours if in urgent need.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We are committed to improving access to GPs, and we are now delivering 50 million more GP appointments per year.

“The most recent data shows GP funding increased in real terms by 19 per cent between 2017 and 2022. 

“Our Primary Care Recovery Plan is investing £645 million to expand pharmaceutical services and take pressure off general practice.

“We are also investing £240 million on digital tools, telephony and training to ensure GP surgeries have what they need to improve access for patients.”

Ms Young is due to go against Conservative MP Luke Hall in the next general election.

The general election must be held by 28 January 2025, which is 25 working days after the fifth anniversary of the first meeting of this Parliament - 17 December 2019.

Earlier this year in January the PM Rishi Sunak said he expected to call in in “the second half” of 2024.

Mr Hall has been part of the campaign to redevelop Thornbury Health Centre. 

The NHS Integrated Care Board for Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire was granted £1.3M in October last year to develop a business case for the centre.