The A & E crisis hitting hospitals all over the country could be eased if the paperwork burden was eased on family doctors, said UKIP health spokesman Louise Bours.

“Our GPs are under enormous pressure and overburdened with the tick box data collection culture instigated by the Labour Party. It is no wonder that some patients have problems getting an appointment.

“Heading instead to A & E is not necessarily the best course of action but people worried about their health, particularly if elderly or with young children, understandably want to be seen sooner rather than later,” said Ms Bours.

“Just imagine how many more patients could be accommodated if GP’s across the country were freed from the data collection burden. Most GPs are working 11-13 hour days and simply cannot do any more and extra stress will just lead to them going off sick themselves or leaving the profession.

“While the emergency crisis continues if GPs were absolved from doing any of the routine work such as attending clinical commissioning group meetings, chronic target-chasing, appraisal work, revalidation, CQC visits etc they could be freed up to see acute emergencies.

“There is obviously no one simple answer to the NHS problems in general and the current A & E crisis in particular but bed-blocking is a major part of the problem.

“There needs to be joined-up thinking and funding for health and social care to put right the problems caused by both the Labour and Coalition governments.

“If community beds and support services were more available that would help free up more beds. It is not just getting seen in A & E that is a problem there is then a problem in admitting patients because of bed shortages.

“Closing wards has not helped one jot and since 2007 eight A &E s in England have been closed or downgraded. In 2013 there was a record 3.8million emergency admissions and I fear last year’s figures may prove to be higher.

“With nearly 250,000 new people coming into the country each year our health services are at breaking point and the impact of uncontrolled immigration must not be overlooked as contributing to the crisis,” said Ms Bours, North West MEP.

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