General practice workforce

GPs delivering millions more appointments a month

GPs are delivering two million more appointments a month compared to pre-pandemic figures, as NHS England (NHSE) hails the primary care access recovery plan for the uplift.

Over 25.7 million GP appointments were delivered in December 2023, which is a 9% increase from before the pandemic.

It also excludes Covid-19 vaccinations – the number is closer to 25.9 million including those appointments.

NHSE highlights a number of measures that have helped the increase, including upgrading phone systems, expanding care options, upskilling the workforce, and recruiting more staff.

Abbey Medical Centre in Warwickshire, for example, used data from their new and improved phone system to identify when calls were busiest to ensure more staff were available at peak times.

Andrea Leadsom comment

The same practice targeted its most frequent callers by giving them extended support from the same people – this cut their appointments by around three-quarters.

The 25 most frequent service-users took up around 50 of the 625 appointments available in a week, with the practice serving 16,000 patients.

National primary care director at NHSE, Dr Amanda Doyle, describes the news as “incredible progress from hardworking teams across the country”.

The data from December also shows that nearly half (45.7%) of all appointments were booked and delivered on the same day, which is a 3.1% jump from November. Over three in five GP appointments were delivered face-to-face in December.

Primary care minister, Andrea Leadsom, adds: “I am extremely grateful to all GPs who continue to go above and beyond to deliver the best possible care to patients.”

To learn more about how NHS staff go above and beyond, sign up to National Health Executive’s Workforce event.

Image credit: iStock

NHE March/April 2024

NHE March/April 2024

A window into the past, present and future of healthcare leadership.

- Steve Gulati, University of Birmingham 

More articles...

View all
Online Conference


2024 Online Conferences

In partnership with our community of health sector leaders responsible for delivering the UK's health strategy across the NHS and the wider health sector, we’ve devised a collaborative calendar of conferences and events for industry leaders to listen, learn and collaborate through engaging and immersive conversation. 

All our conferences are CPD accredited, which means you can gain points to advance your career by attending our online conferences. Also, the contents are available on demand so you can re-watch at your convenience.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 42. Leadership in the NHS

In episode 42 of the National Health Executive podcast we were joined by Steve Gulati who is an associate professor at the University of Birmingham as well as director of healthcare leadership at the university’s Health Services Management Centre.