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Parents no longer confident they can access medical care for their children in the face of NHS crisis

New polling from Mumsnet shows that nearly half of parents with children under the age of 18 (47%) do not feel confident that they can access timely day-to-day medical care for their children, and 40% of parents do not feel confident that they would be able to access emergency medical care for their children if necessary.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jan 6, 2023

The research also showed:

  • A third (33%) of parents have been unable to get a GP appointment for their child, and 16% of parents have had to take their child or children to A&E because there was no other way of getting treatment.

  • Of those parents that did take children to A&E, nearly half (49%) waited longer than four hours to be admitted, discharged or transferred.

  • 70% of parents have experienced a wait longer than five minutes when calling 111, and more than half (51%) said they have experienced difficulty generally when trying to use the service on behalf of their children.

When asked who was responsible for the crisis facing the NHS and subsequent difficulties accessing healthcare, the vast majority (86%) laid the blame for the crisis squarely at the door of Rishi Sunak’s Government.

Parents in Wales and Scotland also principally blame the UK Government, rather than their respective devolved governments.  When asked who was most responsible for difficulties accessing healthcare, 64% of parents in Scotland and Wales cited the UK Government, with only 13% selecting their respective devolved governments.

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet Founder and CEO, said:

“It is deeply worrying that so many parents do not feel confident they would be able to access the necessary medical care for their children - something you’d expect to be a minimum standard in the UK in 2023.  But when you take their experiences into account, it's hardly surprising.  We hear every day from Mumsnet users unable to get GP appointments for their children, or forced to sit for hours with sick kids in overcrowded A&E departments.

“It's also clear that parents lay the blame for this squarely at the door of Rishi Sunak and his government.  If he does not take action immediately to show that he grasps the scale of the NHS crisis and is willing to take the necessary action to fix it, he’s likely to pay the price at the next election”.