More than one in ten people in Birmingham were unable to obtain a GP appointment according to the latest GP Patient Survey.
The survey, which invites patients in Britain to answer questions on their experience with GP’s services, also found that out of those who obtained an appointment, 13% waited one week or more to see or speak to a GP or a nurse.
People in Northfield, Selly Oak and Hall Green, within the South and Central Clinical Commissioning Group boundary, would be more likely to wait one week or more to see or speak to someone, than those in other parts of the city.
If the results were extrapolated to the total population in Birmingham, they would equate to 107,000 people failing to get a GP appointment or having to wait more than a week for one.
The picture is similar nationally. Over a quarter of people in England couldn’t get a GP appointment or waited one week or more to see or speak to someone. The Royal College of GPs outlined the need to improve the access to GP appointments and blamed on the increase in demand.
It is clear that the system needs to support practices more, so that they can ensure our patients are able to see a GP when they need to. It isn’t that GPs are not providing more appointments.”
Every day we are conducting more than a million patient consultations, 150,000 more than five years ago – the equivalent of the entire population of Oxford seeing their GP every day – yet, the number of family doctors has remained relatively stagnant.”
Across England we are working harder than ever to meet the needs of our growing and ageing population but longer waiting times are a sad but inevitable consequence of increasing demand not being matched with the appropriate resources in general practice, or enough GPs.”
The Royal College of GPs also said that more effort must be made recruiting more GPs to deliver a better service.
We all need to work together to do everything possible to ‘recruit, retain and return’ as many GPs as possible, so that we can build a workforce fit to deliver the care that our patients need – and ensure that satisfaction rates with our service remain high.”
The College is calling for general practice to receive 11% of the overall NHS budget and 8,000 more GPs in England over the course of the next parliament, in order to make this possible.”