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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%