Quarter of a Million Four-Week GP Waits in East Sussex Alone

14 Mar 2024
Danielle Newson outside Saxonbury Surgery

- Four week waits for a GP appointment in East Sussex reached 250,163 last year

- It is a 32% increase on those waiting more than 28 days compared to 2022

- The number waiting 14 days or longer in East Sussex saw a 24% increase from 2022

East Sussex saw a 32% rise in four week waits for GP appointments last year when compared to 2022, House of Commons Library research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed. 

The NHS data measures the time between when the appointment was booked and when it took place. It showed that the number of appointments that saw patients wait two weeks or longer in East Sussex has spiked by24% to 719,342 in 2023, up from 580,329 the previous year.

It means the proportion of appointments where a patient waited two weeks or longer in East Sussex has risen to 20.1%, up from 17.3% in 2022. 

East Sussex’s Liberal Democrats have criticised the Conservative government for letting the community down with their neglect of local health services.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a legal right to get a GP appointment within seven days, or 24 hours if in urgent need.

The policy would enshrine this right in the NHS Constitution, putting a duty on the government and health service to make sure it happens. It would be achieved by increasing the number of GPs, and increasing the number of nurses and pharmacists fully qualified to prescribe day to day medicines.

Commenting, Danielle Newson, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Sussex Weald said:

“Far too many people in East Sussex are struggling to get a GP appointment when they need one. It is causing people huge anxiety because they can't be confident any more of getting the care they need.

“It shows our community has been totally abandoned by this government when it comes to local health services.

“Being able to see a GP when you need to, should not be too much to ask, but even on this measure people are being failed after years of neglect by this Conservative government.

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



The NHS data measures the time between when the appointment was booked and when it took place.  This includes cases where the patient requested a particular date, so it is not a direct measure of “waiting times”.

The data includes all appointments in general practice (including those with e.g. nurses or other staff).

The overall number of appointments in England was nearly 20 million higher in 2023 than in 2022 (+6%).

The percentages exclude the small number of appointments for which the time between booking and appointment is not known.


This data used is based on our analysis of the underlying data from NHS Digital’s Appointments in General Practice December 2023


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