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One in four A&E visits are 'down to lack of GP access'

More than a quarter of visits made to accident and emergency departments in England are made by people who cannot get an appointment with their GP, research has found.

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Money spent on GP services 'increased by a third'

Government funds allocated to GP services have increased by a third over the last 11 years, according to a top NHS official.

Ben Dyson, director of commissioning policy and primary care at NHS England, disputed claims GP services were underfunded and overstretched:

Since 2002/03, the money that the NHS spends on GP services has increased by a third and patient consultations have been increasing year-on-year, but patients should not be unable to get appointments.

A major programme of work to help transform GP services, including patient access, has begun, including the Prime Minister's £50 million Challenge Fund that will support GPs in improving access to services, in more modern ways with greater use of telephone, email and video consultations as well as more flexible appointment times.

– Ben Dyson

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