female gp with patient

Data shows appointment increase post pandemic

NHS England has announced that almost a quarter more appointments were delivered in April than in the same period before the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to NHS data published yesterday, around 30.5 million appointments were delivered by GPs in one month, compared with the 24.5 million that were carried out in April 2019. This 24.5% increase comes as the NHS is able to offer more than 1.4 million GP appointments every working day.

This data also highlights that NHS staff have exceeded the ambitions of providing 50 million more appointments over the course of the last year, when compared to 2018-19, with an additional 62.8 million appointments delivered.

NHS GP appointment quote

NHS England’s National Director for Primary Care, Dr Amanda Doyle, said:

“Thanks to GPs and their hardworking teams, millions more appointments are being delivered every month compared to before the pandemic with plans in place to improve access even further.”

Away from actual appointments, 98% of GP practices in England have also upgraded their telephone technology, which allows phone lines to be expanded. This move will ensure that lines won’t be engaged, and the practices that haven’t yet made the upgrade are already agreeing dates with suppliers for when they can make the switch. By improving phone technology, the requirement for GPs to offer both face to face and telephone/online consultations is being delivered on.

Dr Doyle continued:

“Every GP practice is upgrading their telephone systems to make it easier for patients to contact their surgery, while patients can use the NHS app to order repeat prescriptions and view their test results without needing to contact their family doctor.

“We know there is more to do to make it easier for patients to access GP services and that’s why, building on the successes so far of the primary care access recovery plan, we continue to expand pharmacy services and offer patients more choice in how they access care.”

 

Image credit: iStock

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NHE May/June 2024

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