A REPORT out today appears to show that we are falling out of love with our family doctors.

But look behind the figures and deeper fears emerge about funding and waiting times; symptoms of the Government’s repeated failure to get a grip on the health care crisis.

Public satisfaction with GP services has dropped to the lowest level since the 1980s, according to research by The Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund. The public appear to be responding to pressure on doctors which means some patients struggle to get appointments.

The latest estimates from Royal College of General Practitioners suggest the UK needs an extra 8,000 GPs. The government pledged 5,000 more by 2020 but short of an influx of doctors from abroad, which looks highly unlikely amid Brexit uncertainty, they are going to miss that target by some distance.

The NHS continues to be one of the best health services in the world and most people are full of praise for doctors, nurses and support staff who continue to deliver high quality care. But with the main areas of dissatisfaction around waiting times, staff shortages and lack of funding it is clear that the public know all too well that the health service is at breaking point.

The NHS remains under enormous pressure and patients deserve more than sticking-plaster measures. The government should bring spending on health in line with Germany, France, Holland and Sweden and produce a long-term strategy that addresses the fundamental workload and funding challenges that are overwhelming our health service.