The British Medical Association (BMA) hit the headlines with warnings that GP waiting times are increasing due to chronic underfunding.

The BMA said patient waits were approaching two weeks and patients continuity of care was being harmed as a result.

The situation has got so bad that Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the BMA’s GP committee, warned that GP services are at ‘breaking point’.

He accused the government of ‘brutal disinvestment’ in general practice, whose share of NHS spending has fallen from 10.7% in 2006 to 8.4% in 2012.

Dr Brian Balmer, Essex representative of the BMA, said schemes were being put in place to remedy the problems.

He said: “Waiting times change all the time and depend on what the patient needs.

“Any emergency will always be seen as fast as possible."