General Health Friday August 23, 2013

One third of Brits bear brunt of GP waiting times

This month HealthExpress partnered up with YouGov to rekindle an age old debate about GP waiting times throughout the British Isles. The survey mainly looked to track the experiences and attitudes of UK adults towards their own health and the professional medical services. Here's a breakdown of the survey results:

In general, a third of all UK adults who have visited their GP in the last year had to wait on average 1-3 days for the next available appointment. 14% of these adults said they had to wait more than a week.

Specifically, the worst waiting times were surveyed in Northern Ireland, with 25% of adults saying that they had to wait more than a week for the next available appointment to see their GP. Adults in the South East of England were close behind at 17%. At the other end of the scale, the North East, Scotland and Yorkshire and Humber regions reported the best waiting times with only 8% having to wait a week to book an appointment with their GP.

Dr Bram Brons, medical director at HealthExpress, commented on the statistics:

With our increasingly hectic lives we are looking to have access to our GP immediately and our survey shows that in many regions, this expectation is not being met.

Of those surveyed, many said that in general they were happy with the treatment and service provided by the NHS over the last five years, however, it is waiting times that has stopped them seeing their GP, when they have been keen to consult medical advice. This is potentially a worrying trend as many people may be delaying treatment for a condition just because they are unable to gain a quick appointment.

Rather than be critical of the NHS, we believe that patients need to look for alternative healthcare providers or be flexible on when they can see their GP, as doctors surgeries struggle to cope with the demand that is placed on them.

The survey also featured in The Daily Express Online and This is South Wales.

For more information about our one to one consultations, visit our live doctor service here.

Written by Ryan Hall.
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