Notts patients face shorter waits for GP appointments

Nottinghamshire GP patients faced shorter waits for appointments in September than before the pandemic, figures suggest

It mirrors a national trend, which the Royal College of General Practitioners said indicates remote consultations could be making GP services more accessible.

NHS Digital data shows about 68 per cent of 548,322 GP appointments held in September across the NHS Nottinghamshire clincial commissioning group area took place within eight days of being booked – up from 64 per cent in September 2019.

At least 42 per cent of consultations took place on the same day they were booked, compared with 38 per cent two years before.

Across England, GP practices carried out 28 million appointments in September, about 5m more than the month before.

Some 60 per cent of appointments took place face-to-face in September – down from 80 per cent in September 2019, but up from 58 per cent in August.

Across England, GP practices carried out 28 million appointments in September, about 5m more than the month before.

The proportion of face-to-face appointments increased from 58 per cent in August to 61 per cent in September, although remain well below pre-coronavirus pandemic levels of 82 per cent.

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Prof Martin Marshall, RCGP chairman, said the ‘prevailing’ narrative that remote care is sub-standard is concerning.

He said: “Good, safe and personalised care can be delivered remotely.

“We are seeing a move towards more remote care across the NHS and many patients prefer it as it can be more convenient and fit around other commitments.”

He said the data reflects how remote consultations have the potential to make GP services more accessible, with more patients seen on the same day nationally in September, compared with 2019.

NHS England said the figures show GPs are working hard to ensure patients get the care they need.

Maria Caulfield, minister for primary care, said: “I am incredibly grateful for the phenomenal work of GP teams over the last 18 challenging months.

“I know how important it is for patients to be able to see their GP in the way they choose and so it’s promising to see the number of face-to-face appointments is increasing.

“We have set out a plan to provide targeted support for GP teams to help them continue to improve access – backed by a further £250 million.”

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