A staggering 6.2 million people waited over eight days for a GP appointment in February, Liberal Democrat research has revealed. This is up 9% from the previous month, when 5.7 million waited for eight days or more to see their GP.
The figures reveal a postcode lottery, with nearly one in three people in some areas waiting eight days or more to see their GP. Bath and North East Somerset is in the ten worst areas with the proportion of people waiting over eight days at 30.08%.
Meanwhile, the number of same day appointments in February fell by over half a million compared to January. Fewer than one in two (45%) people were able to see their GP on the same day in February, down from 47% the previous month.
The Liberal Democrats are calling on Health Secretary Sajid Javid to publish a strategy to tackle GP shortages and meet the Government’s own recruitment targets. The party said urgent action is needed to train more GPs and encourage experienced doctors to stay on in the profession, as many are considering early retirement or leaving altogether.
Bath MP Wera Hobhouse commented:
“The Conservatives have broken their promise to recruit more GPs, leaving millions of people struggling to get an appointment when they need one. People across Bath and North East Somerset are suffering as a result of Conservative failures. Desperate people are turning up at A&E instead, piling pressure on the NHS at a time it can least afford it.
“Local health services are suffering after years of neglect under this Government which has driven them into the ground. We need a plan to recruit the GPs the country desperately needs and prevent so many doctors leaving or retiring early.”
Full Liberal Democrat analysis of the latest figures for England, every region in England and for each Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are available here.
Original source: NHS Digital: Appointments in General Practice
|Change between Jan ’22 and Feb ’22|
|Jan ’22||Feb ’22||Change||Percentage Change|
|Between 1 and 4 Weeks||4,802,996||5,628,193||825,197||17.18%|
|Same day appointments||11,926,004||11,398,745||-527,259||-4%|
|Waiting over 8 days||5,693,377||6,178,961||485,584||9%|
Top ten areas with highest proportion of patients waiting eight days or more for a GP appointment in February 2022
|CCG||Proportion waiting 8 days for GP appointment|
|NHS Sheffield CCG||31.12%|
|NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG||31.04%|
|NHS Stafford and Surrounds CCG||30.83%|
|NHS Barnsley CCG||30.14%|
|Bath And North East Somerset, Swindon And Wiltshire STP||30.08%|
|NHS North Tyneside CCG||30.07%|
|NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG||29.59%|
|Joined Up Care Derbyshire STP||29.50%|