THESE are the top ten questions the Echo would have put to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak if he agreed to an interview during his visit.

Mr Sunak travelled to Southampton this morning (reportedly by helicopter) to announce his plans to ease pressure from GPs by adding more services to pharmacies.

He visited Weston Lane Surgery where only national journalists were allowed to speak to him and take pictures.

Reporters from local outlets, including Jose Ramos from the Daily Echo, were waiting outside and didn't get to speak to Mr Sunak who used a side door to avoid them.

Below is a list of questions we would have liked to ask him based on his announcement and the conversation we had to a GP partner at the Weston surgery, as well as issues facing Southampton - the Prime Minister's home city.

Daily Echo: Rishi Sunak with Tory councillor Peter Baillie in SouthamptonRishi Sunak with Tory councillor Peter Baillie in Southampton (Image: Ben Birchall/PA Wire)

  • According to a senior GP partner at Weston Lane Surgery, GP retention and recruitment should take priority, along with investment in IT infrastructure. Do Mr Sunak's plans take into account these two key aspects and if so, how?
  • Given how busy pharmacies are as it is, how is the government planning to recruit more pharmacists? Are there specific targets?
  • Is Mr Sunak truly aware of how effectively/not so effectively GP practices are operating in his own home city, given Weston Lane Surgery fared poorly for patient satisfaction?
  • What is Government doing to tackle a lack of NHS dental care given 40 children in Southampton had rotting teeth removed in a 12-month period?
  • More than 10,000 households in Southampton are in fuel poverty - what can be done to help them?
  • Given the result in last week's election, how concerned are you that support for your party in Southampton appears to be dropping as you face the prospect of a general election?
  • As we reported in February, waiting times at University Hospital Southampton are at around 54,000 patients with an average waiting time of 11 weeks. What are you doing to make sure that people in Southampton have access to the health care they need, when they need it?
  • Southampton City Council's finances have alerted its own external auditor - what can you do to bolster the finances of local authorities who have seen huge cuts, while at the same time demand fairer funding?
  • Many women and girls in the city fear walking alone at night - how is Government fighting the scourge of male violence?
  • Vulnerable children are struggling to achieve education standards, will you look at increasing schools' budgets to help those who need it most?

We put the top three to Downing Street's press office, which passed them on to the Department of Health and Social Care.

A spokesperson for the department has talked of new measures to support international medical graduates who make up over half of all doctors in GP training by reducing visa barriers leading to doctors leaving general practice.

This involved working with the Home Office to add four months at the end of their visa to encourage them to stay and work in the UK for longer.

The department also said it is investing in post graduate training of existing pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, including providing the opportunity for pharmacists to become prescribed qualified.

All pharmacists will be prescribed qualified on registration from 2026.