DIY doctoring

A new poll suggests that more than one in eight in the South West are resorting to being a ‘DIY Doctor’ after failing to secure a face-to-face GP appointment.

They were admitting to carrying out medical treatment on themselves, or asking somebody else who is not a medical professional to do so.

The poll, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, found amongst those in the South West who said they have tried but could not get a face-to-face GP appointment in the last 12 months, three in ten (30%) purchased medication online or at a pharmacy without GP advice, over one in four (26%) went to A&E, whilst one in six (17%) gave up all together on securing an appointment. 

Nearly a quarter (23%) of people in the South West have tried and failed to get a face-face GP appointment in their local area over the past twelve months. 

In an effort to solve these issues, Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, and the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to recruit 8,000 more doctors. This would be achieved by increasing training places for GPs, fixing pension rules to discourage so many doctors retiring early, and launching a recruitment drive to encourage those who have left the NHS to return.

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, commented:

“The Prime Minister and the Health Secretary need to wake up and realise how very serious this situation is. Our GPs are working flat-out under incredible and escalating pressure. They want to see patients but have been completely abandoned by this Government. 

“Sadly, due to the Conservative Government’s neglect of our Health Service, it is no wonder that people in our region are turning to self-prescribing medication because of delays in securing GP appointments.

“Conservative Government after Conservative Government have broken pledges to recruit more GPs. The public are rightly fed up with their empty promises to turn this situation around. The only way this changes is with a change of Government.”

Here’s more information on that poll:

Methodology: Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,061 UK adults aged 18+ online between 9th and 11th December 2022. Data were weighted to be representative of the UK by age, sex, region and social grade. The survey results can be found here.