A BRADFORD MP has called for a new Urgent Treatment Centre in the city as people struggle to access GP appointments.

Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East, attacked the Government’s claim of record investment in GP practices and said the reality remains that many in his constituency are unable to see a doctor for days, if not weeks.

Many Telegraph & Argus readers from across the district have shared their frustration, with one person claiming: “It would be easier ringing Buckingham Palace and asking to meet the Queen.”

The MP claims there has been underinvestment in the Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, which oversees GPs, despite the greater health inequalities faced in the district.

Mr Hussain made the case for a new Urgent Treatment Centre – for people in need of urgent medical attention, but it's not a life-threatening situation – to reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and A&E.

In a question to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, the MP said: “In Bradford, we need a new hospital, and I will continue to campaign for that, but our imminent need is for an Urgent Treatment Centre. Will he meet me to discuss that option seriously and provide the funding to our local NHS trust?”

Mr Javid said there are “challenges across the country” and £500 million of extra funding had been provided during the pandemic.

He added: “On his plea for an Urgent Treatment Centre, I will make sure that the Health Minister will meet him.”

Speaking after, Mr Hussain said: “For many people in Bradford, getting a GP appointment can often feel like an impossible task even when they have pressing healthcare needs and need an urgent appointment, and many people are often inevitably forced to turn to the A&E at Bradford Royal Infirmary as a result because they simply have nowhere else to go.

“In a place like Bradford with high levels of health inequalities that see people living in the poorer inner-city suffering from a higher prevalence of preventable health and facing a life expectancy up to a decade shorter than someone living in a leafy suburb, this inability to see a GP and receive treatment just further embeds these inequalities.

“Whilst the Government urgently needs to properly fund GP practices across Bradford, they must also look at introducing a new Urgent Treatment Centre that would be able to support those people with pressing healthcare needs who cannot get an appointment with their GP, but who don’t need to go to A&E, and I look forward to making this case in my meeting with the Health Minister.”

The Department of Health and Social Care was contacted for comment.