New analysis shows longer GP wait times and less face to face appointments than pre-pandemic

New data, from the House of Commons Library analysed by the Liberal Democrats, has revealed:

  • Before the pandemic an estimated 80% of GP appointments were face to face. Now no CCG area meets that level.
  • In some areas only 45% of people are having face to face appointments, the rest being a combination of telephone or video.
  • People are also waiting longer for GP appointments. In some areas almost 1 in 10 people are waiting over 3 weeks for an appointment.

These numbers mask large disparities with Liverpool CCG seeing 70% of its patients on the same or next day, whereas Dorset CCG, despite some of the highest rates of face-to-face appointments, only sees 48% of its patients on the same day or next day of making an appointment.

Responding to the findings that the number of face to face appointments at GPs is still below pre-pandemic levels and waiting times are too long, Liberal Democrat Health and Social Care Spokesperson, Sal Brinton said: “GPs have truly gone above and beyond throughout this pandemic, working tirelessly to make sure everyone could contact their GP even when face-to-face appointments couldn’t go ahead. Both surgeries and residents are now being let down by a Government that is failing to grapple with rising waiting times and a backlog of people waiting for treatment.

Sal Brinton

“With data showing GPs under enormous pressure and residents across the country left deserving better, the Government must get a handle on waiting times. The Liberal Democrats are calling on them to implement a three step plan: train more GPs and other primary healthcare staff such as nurses and physios, increase funding and fully support our practices.”

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