As reported by the Guardian, the recent publication of NHS Digital figures has raised concerns about the shortages of General Practitioners. The shortage means that patients have to wait much longer than before for an appointment. In October 2018, GPs in England had 27 million appointments with almost 5 million of them taking place between 15 and 28 days from the date of booking.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “GPs are working hard to provide high-quality care to their patients, with over a million appointments booked every weekday in October and 40 per cent of patients being seen on the same day.”
“We are also rolling out extended access hours across the country to ensure that patients can find appointments in the evenings and at weekends, making it easier for people to see a doctor, nurse or other health professional at a convenient time to them.”
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said it was “frustrating” that patients were having to wait so long to see a GP, and added: “we want to deliver timely care to patients in the early stages of illness, to avoid conditions getting worse, when they can be both more distressing for patients, and more costly for the NHS.”
The government pledged to increase the number of GPs in England by 5,000 by 2020, but the RCGP says more than 6,000 are now needed.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence law. If you believe that you or a family member have suffered a significant delay in being referred by a GP or been a victim of negligence, due to private or NHS treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.