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Independents' Day

Recovering before their appointment is GP patients' top peeve

Patients’ biggest frustration with getting to see their GP is that their ‘symptoms have subsided by the time an appointment is given’ according to private, GP-on-demand service Push Doctor.

The group offering video appointments with a UK GP for £20-a-go surveyed 1,000 people in the UK, finding almost a third (29%) were annoyed they had recovered before they could see a GP.

Having to take time off work to see a GP came fourth on the list of issues with just 13% saying it was a key issue, preceded by sitting in the waiting room (15%) and late-running appointments (28%).

However, 44% of respondents did say they had ‘avoided the doctors because you didn’t want to wait for an appointment’ and made their condition ‘considerably worse’.

The survey also found waiting to see a doctor is the nation's top appointment peeve – followed by waiting for dentists, and ‘taxi services’.

Push Doctor founder and CEO Eren Ozagir said the problem of patients wanting convenient appointments and GPs wanting to be funded to work outside core hours was ‘fraught’ but a ‘hybrid’ private-NHS model could help.

He said: ‘Traditional GP opening hours are a frustration for patients, often inconvenient for the full-time worker who struggles to get an appointment in good time.

’A hybrid system which alleviates the pressure on the existing system and provides a more convenient service for those willing to contribute and pay a little more would benefit doctors, patients and the NHS.’

Pulse has already revealed that the Government’s flagship policy to give all patients routine appointments at evenings and weekends has been dogged by a lack of popularity, particularly on Sundays.

What typically annoys you the most about waiting for a doctor's appointment in advance?

  • I’m usually over the illness by the time I see a doctor – 29%
  • Appointments on the day running late – 28%
  • Hanging around in the waiting room – 15%
  • Having to take time off work – 13%
  • Rude reception staff – 7%
  • Busy waiting room – 4%

Readers' comments (10)

  • You would think that those 29% might realsie theuy never needed to see a doctor in the first place!!

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  • Says it all

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  • In other words nearly 1/3 of all patients never needed to see us at all and they moan because they got better naturally.....??!!!

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  • ALL demand should be triaged by the front desk staff (call them navigator/ Health assistant) before they get to see GP! You will find approx 25% to 35% of the problems can be sorted by the pharmacists/ ANP/ PA/ Housing adv/ admin staff/ nurse. It should be mandatory to release capacity in the primary care. 111 is doing it, why shouldn't we do it in the GP surgery. 111 call handlers are not clinician!

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  • Bob Hodges

    All 111 call handlers do is pass the problem on the GP/A&E or call an ambulance round here.

    111 is a massive part of the problem of demand.

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  • When we have had the builders in from time to time over the years they always end up talking about how difficult it is to see their GPs. I always make sympathetic noises and give advice about how to insist if it's important etc. It then occurred to me as they knocked off at 4:30 (or earlier on a Friday) that their practices were always open for another two hours but that never seemed to cut it. I can only conclude people LIKE to take a day off work to see a GP.

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  • Me!, Me!, Me! Now!, Now!, Now!..............yawn

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  • AlanAlmond

    My biggest gripe quite honestly is being told I'm perfectly well after I've gone to the bother of dragging my sorry backside to see the Dr. when I just know deep down in my heart of hearts there just must be some god damn worrying heavy medical reason why I feel so completely 'a little bit dizzy, tired and sometimes seem to have scabs in my nose'. That really gets my goat.

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  • Its hilarious we all have the same sort of patients with a (tiny ) scab on the nose , and feeling something serious is wrong with them despite scans etc etc and then we end up spending quite a lot of time psychologically reattributing their symptoms. Humour definitely helps ;keep it up !

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  • God save us all!

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