Clinician and patient

New GP data to increase transparency and improve patient experience

Patients are set to benefit from a more transparent health system as data on GP appointment waiting times gets published for the first time ever.

The new data means that patients will be able to make more informed choices about their treatment pathway, enabling them to view how many appointments individual GP practices are delivering and the amount of time they are taking to deliver them.

The statistics will be included in NHS Digital’s monthly data drops, giving patients a previously unprecedented level of granularity, which will allow them to make the right choices for them.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “We promised to prioritise patients and improve access and that is exactly what we have done – and this is just the start.

“I am determined to make it easier for people to get an appointment with their GP practice when they need one and this will allow patients to make a more informed choice about the care they receive.”

This comes after the Chancellor’s autumn statement that reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to ensuring those who need GP appointments can get one within two weeks – with urgent cases to be seen on the same day.

This will include rolling out a million more appointments and over 30,000 more phone lines that will allow patients to avoid the “8am rush” for appointments.

The Minister of State for Health, Neil O’Brien, added: “This is about making sure patients can make genuine choices about where to access their care. More than 90% of a patient’s direct experience of the NHS is through primary care and their GP practices so it is vital appointments are available when needed.

“This government reiterated its commitment to the NHS during the Autumn Statement and improving access to data is just the start.”

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