Pulse found that the average time patients in the UK wait for a GP appointment is 15 days – over 20% of the 901 GP respondents said the wait was over three weeks and more than 5% said it was over 4 weeks.
Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of Royal College of GPs, said: “Our patients should be able to see a GP when they need to – and the fact that this is becoming increasingly difficult is frustrating for GPs and our teams, as we know it is for them.
“People are waiting too long for routine appointments, and the concern is that non-serious conditions might deteriorate, or patients give up trying to see the GP and we miss signs of serious illness early when it could be dealt with simply and more cost effectively in primary care.”
The government pledged in 2015 that GP numbers would increase by 5,000 by 2020, yet this is not being delivered as figures from NHS digital showed that there were 28,697 ‘fully qualified full-time equivalent GPs’ in March 2019 – 441 less than March 2018.
Full story in The Guardian, 12 August 2019