OLDHAM’S Liberal Democrats group has spoken out after the party said they were told data on how GP surgeries are performing in offering doctor’s appointments have not been collected by the CCG.

Many people have raised concerns over the length of time it takes to see their GP in Oldham this year, like many places across the UK amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

But the Liberal Democrats said they discovered statistics on which practices were doing well or poorly has not been collected by the CCG.

The party’s leader, Cllr Howard Sykes MBE, said: “Too many people are not getting the service they need from their GPs and we were not getting any reasonable explanation as to why.

“GP numbers in Oldham have risen over the last six years while patient numbers per GP have fallen, yet that doesn’t match with people’s experiences of struggling to see a doctor.

“After asking the Health and Wellbeing Board (on November 16) for answers, I have been told that they will now start collecting this data. And we can start to find out why there are a few GP practices that seem to be doing so much better than others.”

Between 2015 and now, GP numbers in Oldham have increased by 10 per cent, and patient numbers per GP have fallen by six per cent, according to analysis of the House of Commons data by the Liberal Democrats.”

Cllr Sykes added: “This is simply about sharing good practice. Everyone deserves the same level of service, not the lottery they are currently getting.”

A NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group spokesperson said: “During the pandemic GP practices across Oldham remained open throughout and continued to provide appointments to their patients via phone or video consultations or face-to-face when clinically necessary.

“In September this year more than 114,000 appointments were delivered across the borough – which is a six per cent increase during the same time last year.

“Almost 70 per cent of these appointments were delivered within a week of booking.

“For the remaining 30 per cent (delivered after a week or more) there are several reasons as to why they are longer than a week such as follow-up appointments, clinical triage, appointment availability and also patient choice. If any patients are concerned about waiting times, they should speak to their practice in the first instance or Oldham CCG Customer Services by calling 0161 621 3520 or emailing oldccg.customercare@nhs.net.”