COUNCILLORS have urged Colchester’s MP to stand up for the city’s residents who are stuck on NHS waiting lists.

Liberal Democrats in Colchester have called on MP Will Quince, who resigned from his role as Health Minister on Monday, to back an amendment in Parliament calling for a GP and dental care rescue plan.

The proposed amendment to the King’s Speech calls for a legal right for patients to see their GP within a week, or within 24 hours in urgent cases, and comes as NHS waiting lists have hit a record high of 7.8million.

The Lib Dems are also calling on the Government to publish a dental recovery plan which includes proposals to ensure everyone can access the care they need.

Gazette: Action - Martin Goss has pressed Will Quince to support a Lib Dem amendment to the King's SpeechAction - Martin Goss has pressed Will Quince to support a Lib Dem amendment to the King's Speech

Ahead of a vote in Parliament later today, Martin Goss, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Colchester, said: “This Conservative government has brought our local health services to their knees.

“Every day, people in Colchester are struggling to get a GP appointment or cannot find a dentist taking NHS patients.

“Real action on the NHS was glaringly missing from the King’s Speech. Will Quince needs to back the Liberal Democrat amendment to it and ensure that local health services are put front and centre of the Government’s agenda.

“Anything less would show a callous disregard for those in Colchester stuck on NHS waiting lists, unable to get the treatment that they deserve.”

But a senior NHS boss has warned it could be difficult for the Government to achieve its current pledge to drive down waiting lists.

In a letter to health leaders, NHS England said the “elective recovery target” – the ambitions for cutting the waiting list – will be “reduced” for the rest of the financial year.

It also asked local leaders to come up with new plans “reflecting the impact of the reduced elective activity goal”.

Sir Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “Rishi Sunak’s pledge to cut waiting lists is going to be increasingly difficult to achieve.

“We’re really hoping we don’t see any more strike action, but we don’t know where the talks are at.

“There could well be more strikes and, if there are, I think that really will put paid to the delivery of that pledge.”