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Nottingham
Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Rise in number of patients waiting more than two weeks to see GP

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A higher proportion of Nottinghamshire patients waited longer than two weeks to see their GP in August 2021 compared with a year earlier.

Data from the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which manages and operates GP services in the city and county, shows about one in six people waited 15 days or more to see a doctor across the 31 days in August.

This amounted to 76,224 out of 454,315 appointments, or 16.77 per cent, with 20,048 of those patients waiting longer than four weeks to see their GP after calling up for an appointment.

When comparing the data with a year earlier, it shows the number of patients waiting 15 days or more increased per proportion of total appointments year-on-year.

In August 2020, 52,736 patients had to wait more than two weeks to see their GP, which equated to 13.21 per cent of the 399,056 appointments conducted throughout the month.

It comes as the figures show GP surgeries in the city and county conducted 55,259 more appointments in August this year compared with a year earlier, with the vast majority successfully conducted face-to-face.

Surgeries saw 263,103 face-to-face appointments this year, up from 211,162 a year earlier, while the number of telephone appointments remained broadly the same at about 164,000.

The data comes as part of a report from the CCG due before Nottinghamshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee on November 24, with August’s figures the most recently-available CCG statistics.

It follows concerns raised by members of the committee in September regarding patient difficulties in accessing primary care, described by several councillors as an emerging “disastrous situation”.

GP appointments

However, the report reveals the results of a survey conducted on patients at slightly more than 120 surgeries across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

About 15,500 responses revealed the CCG is broadly above the national average on issues around patient satisfaction.

When asked how easy it is to get through to your GP practice over the phone, 72 per cent responded with either ‘very easy’ or ‘fairly easy’. This is above the national average of 68 per cent.

However, 48 out of 122 practices were below the CCG average for this question – with 27 in the county and 21 in the city.

Similarly, when asked how they would describe their experiences of making an appointment, 73 per cent of patients responded with ‘very good’ and ‘fairly good’. This was above the national average of 70 per cent.

However, 50 of the 121 practices surveyed across the city and county fell below the CCG average on this question.

When asked how they would describe their experience with their GP practice, 84 per cent responded with ‘very good’ and ‘fairly good’.

This, again, is slightly above the national average of 83 per cent.

But when asked how often a patient sees or speaks with their preferred GP, 45 per cent responded with either ‘always or almost ways’, or ‘a lot of the time’.

This is the same as the national average of 45 per cent, with 60 out of 121 practices falling below the average across the CCG.

Commenting in the documents, the CCG said: “The GP Survey questions included in this paper are good indicators of patient satisfaction, showing the CCG average score is higher than the national average score.

“However … Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG has a registered population of circa 1.1 million, [but] the maximum number of responses for a GP survey question was 15,500 which is 1.4 per cent of the registered population.”

Lucy Dadge, chief commissioning officer at the CCG, also told councillors in September: “We do recognise the demands on all our healthcare services now are greater than they ever were.

“They were growing pre-Covid, and they’re growing now.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. For me it was 1 hour ten minutes on hold to get through to the receptionist, to be told it’s a 3 week wait for a telephone consultation. This is for Park House surgery in Gedling. Not really good enough!

  2. I can’t fault Park House surgery in the treatment of a relative with a known potentially dangerous condition but for the usually healthy who become ill the time to get a face to face appointment is unacceptable. The time to wait for the telephone queue to get you to position 1{ your call is important to us) is also unacceptable. Just employ some people to answer the phone. The docs are OK but the management of the practice since it combined with a surgery in Lowdham (!) has gone rapidly downhill and I do not accept it is solely due to Covid. The Covid excuse is wearing a bit thin. And – I have no intention of discussing my condition with an unqualified receptionist ( ” so we can direct you to the most appropriate health professional”). I know if I need to see a doctor or practice nurse. The receptionists are not qualified to make that decision.

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