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Independents' Day

GP appointment waiting times continue to rise

An increased number of patients waited a week or more to see or speak to someone the last time they contacted their GP surgery, the latest GP patient survey has revealed.

NHS England’s ‘GP Patient Survey – National summary report’, conducted by Ipsos MORI, found that the vast majority of patients’ satisfaction with their GP remains highly positive.

However, it also found that there were problems with accessing GPs in hours, finding that one in ten patients were unable to arrange a time to see or speak to someone at all when they last tried to do so.

At the same time, 17.9% of patients this year had to wait for a week or more for a phone or in-person appointment, up from 15.9% last year and 12.8% in 2012.

It comes after a Pulse survey recently revealed that GPs believed the average waiting time for an appointment is set to hit two weeks in a year’s time, due to problems with workload and the continuing recruitment crisis.

Despite the problems faced by GP funding and workload, 92% of the 858,381 patients asked said they had trust and confidence in the last doctor they saw or spoke to from their surgery.

Over 80% had a positive experience the last time they visited their practice, while 87% said their GP was good at listening.

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Readers' comments (6)

  • Falling GP numbers = less appointments . Seems logical .

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  • It will be nearer 4 weeks within a year. Many GPs retiring early and few Doctors choosing General Practice for a career

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  • Not rocket science but sells papers. We have 6-7 week wait for a 2 week wait CT scan….. probably because we force hospitals to admit too many people and carry out too many arthroscopies! Only JH and his sounding board the Mail aren't keen to make any of this headline news.

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  • The article does not say what the percentage increase in people waiting relates to in real patient numbers, we're seeing thousands more people each year compared to a few years ago but I suspect the percentages of people waiting is growing. Fuel demand, enjoy a Tory sieve-like immigration policy, strip GPs of any remaining self-respect, retirement snowballing, no-one wanting to go into training (even scraping the very bottom of the barrel isn't working) but it does mean in a few years we will have lost 2 generations of GPs to either early retirement or emigration and will be left with NPs, PAs, (infact hoards of Noctors) ands a few of us 40 somethings trapped trying to keep it all going on a pittance with a social standing up there with a paedophile or someone with a penchant for animal fiddling.
    Can someone in RCGP or GPC please explain WHY anyone would honestly want to go into this cesspit of a job?! (and not with all the usual gong-seeking soundbites).

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  • again no news - once we are at the point where it takes just as long to see a GP as it does to see a consultant or areas have no GPs then it will be news and then there will be demands for something to be done. Until then expect more pressure to be available. If you keep saying yes then expect the pain.

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  • Let them rise, rise and rise. Protecting your GMC is your priority as no one will pat you on the back for being a factory trojan GP hero.

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