THOUSANDS of patients in Ilkley and Keighley waited at least a week to see a GP the last time they tried, according to an official NHS survey.

Across the Airedale, Whardale and Craven clinical commissioning group area, more than 17,800 they had faced a wait of seven days or more when they phoned for an appointment in the last year, according to a NHS England CCG Report.

The annual NHS England survey, released earlier this month, also revealed that local patients struggle to see the family doctor of their choosing.

Across Airedale, Wharfdale and Craven, nearly half of patients - 47 per cent or 39,223 people - who have a preferred GP had to see another doctor when they last went to their surgery.

The statistics have been highlighted by Labour candidate for the Keighley constituency, John Grogan.

And across the Bradford District as a whole Across Bradford as a whole, this applied to 133,519 patients, or 50.6 percent.

The delays meant 10,225 local people saying they would not recommend their family's practice to new patients.

Mr Grogan said: "The Government has made it harder for people in Keighley and Ilkley to get a GP appointment - I am afraid I don't think they can be trusted with our local NHS.

"Within days of the last election they scrapped Labour's appointments guarantee and now thousands of people here are waiting over a week. Labour will scrap the NHS market and invest the savings in helping people get a GP appointment within 48 hours or on the same day for those who need it."

Labour Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, waits for GP are pushing patients into hospital accident and emergency departments.

"This survey confirms what Labour has been saying," said Mr Burnham.

"People want to be able to see the GP they trust, and who knows their family history, but are left phoning the surgery day after day only to be disappointed."

But regional NHS bosses say more than three quarters of patients in the Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven area rated their GP experience as good.

A spokesman for NHS England (West Yorkshire) said:“NHS England in West Yorkshire, is committed to ensuring patients have access to high quality, timely patient care and GP practices in the region continue to work hard to ensure their patients are seen in appropriate timescales.

“In the latest GP Patient Survey results 88 percent of patients in Airedale, Wharfdale and Craven said their overall experience of GP services was good.”