GLOUCESTERSHIRE is the worst area in the country for two and four-week waits to see a GP, according to the latest figures.

Figures from May 2022 to May this year show an average of 7.9 per cent of patients in the county had to wait more than a month for an appointment with their doctor.

And, almost one in four patients had to wait more than two weeks to see a GP.

For both two and four week waits, Gloucestershire’s waiting times were the highest on average across that period, according to House of Commons Library research.

The research is based on NHS data showing the length of time between when a GP appointment was booked and when it took place.

It shows the areas with the highest proportion of four week waits for a an appointment, with predominantly rural counties such as Gloucestershire among the worst hit.

And the Liberal Democrats are calling for a legal right for patients to see a GP within a week, or within 24 hours if in urgent need. They say this would be achieved by increasing the number of GPs by 8,000.

County councillor Paul Hodgkinson (LD, Bourton and Northleach) said: "Sadly, these new figures reveal that in fact Gloucestershire has the worst record recently in the whole of England."

A spokesperson for the NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board said: “The National General Practice Appointments Data is not a measure or indication of practice quality or patient care, but it does provide useful insight into the delivery of GP practice appointments.

“In Gloucestershire we have been focusing on providing more appointments for our population.

“This has been demonstrated by the national data which shows clearly that in Gloucestershire, we are providing thousands more appointments compared with national averages.

“Over 353,800 appointments are delivered on average each month by GP practices across Gloucestershire, an increase of 18.1% on pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

“We understand this to be significantly above the national average increase. In May 2023, Gloucestershire practices provided 24 per cent more same-day appointments than in May 2019.

“However, we know that some patients across the county have had to wait longer than they would like for non-urgent appointments and we are doing all we can to improve this position."