Nearly one in five patients are waiting a week or longer to see a GP, according to a NHS survey released today.

19% of people in Redbridge had to wait at least seven days in order to book an appointment last year, more than the national average of 16%.

A total of 583 out of 3,034 local patients had to wait a week when they phoned for an appointment in the last year.

The national survey by the NHS England Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was carried out from July 2013 to March this year.

Cllr Wes Streeting, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for health and well-being, said a huge amount of money would need to be invested to improve this figure.

He said: “More needs to be done to improve the quality of service for residents.

“I have had a number of residents from the area complaining about the service and the time it takes to get an appointment seems to be getting longer and longer.

“There is a significant amount of pressure on resources for Redbridge CCG so £100 million needs to be spent around the country.

“We need to invest money in helping people get a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it."

A spokesman for Redbridge CCG stated that its priority was to make it easier for patients to see their GPs.

He said: “GPs face growing demand and, while the clear majority of feedback we receive is positive, we know a common complaint is that it is sometimes hard to get to see your GP quickly.

“Making it easier for patients to see their GP, at times and in ways that are convenient for the patient, is a priority for us and we are working hard to do just that.

"Recently, local GPs successfully bid for more money to help make this happen.

“This will not only mean better access to GP surgeries in the evening and at weekends, but also better care – particularly for those with the most complex needs, who will be cared for by new, dedicated teams including a GP, hospital doctor and practice nurse.”