Nearly half of parents feel unable to access NHS care for their children

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Almost half of parents do not feel confident they can access timely day-to-day medical care for their children in the face of the current NHS crisis, a poll suggested.

The survey of 1,028 users of the Mumsnet website also found 40 per cent are not confident they could access emergency care for their children if they needed it.

Meanwhile, a third, 33 per cent, said they had been unable to get a GP appointment for their child in the past three months, while 16 per cent took their child or children to A&E because they felt there was no other way of getting treatment.

Of those parents who did take their children to A&E, nearly half, 49 per cent, waited more than four hours to be admitted, discharged or transferred.

Government blamed for NHS crisis

Meanwhile, 70 per cent of parents said they had waited longer than five minutes when calling 111, and more than half, 51 per cent, said they have experienced difficulty generally when trying to use the service for their children.

When asked who was responsible for the current crisis in the NHS, 86 per cent blamed the Government.

In Wales and Scotland, nearly two thirds, 64 per cent, mainly blamed Downing Street for the health service’s problems rather than the devolved administrations.

The poll came amid warnings from senior doctors that the NHS is under intolerable pressure, while ambulance services called critical incidents across the country.

On Wednesday, Rishi Sunak pledged that NHS “waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly”.

The Government has blamed high numbers of flu, Covid-19 and Strep A cases for the particular pressures that the health service faced over Christmas.

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