Drop in GP appointments across Notts
Fewer GP appointments were carried out in Nottinghamshire in December, figures show, as healthcare workers across England focused their efforts on the coronavirus booster jab rollout.
GP teams up and down the country were urged to free up capacity to deliver Covid vaccinations after the Government’s booster jab campaign was ramped up in December.
A letter from the NHS at the time said this ‘could include pausing routine and non-urgent care and redeploying staff’ to support the rollout.
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That was 16 per cent fewer than the month before, but 4 per cent more than the 465,913 in December 2020 and, the CCG said, more than December 2019.
A CCG spokeswoman said: “Our GPs have continued to work exceptionally hard throughout the pandemic offering high-quality services to patients and this continued during December.
“Latest data shows in December there were 486,478 appointments with 61 per cent being face to face and 51 per cent of patients being seen the same day or next
“Patients have continued to be invited to attend their GP practice for a face-to-face appointment where it is clinically identified as the best way to manage their medical condition or need.”
Across England, 25 million GP appointments were held last December – 17 per cent fewer than the 30.3m in November.
NHS England asked GPs to shift their focus back to routine care in late January.
Prof Martin Marshall, Royal College of GPs chairman, said the figures showed GP surgeries were managing to deliver ‘consistently high’ numbers of appointments under pressures exacerbated by the pandemic.
He said: “The December figures bring the number of appointments made in 2021, when taking into account multiple mass vaccination drives GPs and our teams have led, to an unprecedented 367m.
“The fact such huge numbers of GP appointments have been sustained throughout such a challenging time for the NHS is a testament to the dedication of GPs and our teams to delivering good, safe and appropriate patient care."
The NHS Digital figures also show, of the consultations by Nottinghamshire GPs in December, 61 per cent were face to face, down slightly from 62 per cent a month earlier.