Published On: Mon, Aug 12th, 2019

UK news: Average waiting time to see GP now longer than two weeks | UK | News

The delay to be seen for a non-urgent concern has risen from 12.8 days to 14.8 days since 2017, a study of doctors has revealed Patients with non-urgent needs wait around 15 days. Many were unable to book an appointment for five weeks. The figures, released by Pulse, the publication for GPs, polled a total of 901 UK family doctors.

Just 20 percent of GPs said patients could get an appointment in less than a week and 27 percent waited for one to two weeks.

In total, 31 percent reported an average waiting period of to three weeks for patients.

As many as 16 percent confessed to waits of up to three to four weeks.

One GP said: “Patient demand continues to soar with higher expectations despite dreadful Government funding.

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“MPs have a lot to answer for.”

Another said: “We currently have barely any pre-bookable appointments available due to lack of capacity.”

Despite the figures, NHS England disputed the research saying almost half of the people who contacted their GP get an appointment on the same day or within 24 hours.

This runs contrary to what the experts say.

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Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “People are waiting too long for routine appointments.

“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.”

The figures come after data was collected earlier this year that suggested longer waiting times.

The data, however, included follow-up appointments, where it was clinically accepted to arrange a GP appointment at a later date.

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