- 1 What do you say when booking a GP appointment?
- 2 What is a routine GP appointment?
- 3 Why is it so hard to get a GP appointment?
- 4 How do I tell my doctor I have anxiety?
- 5 How long should a GP appointment be?
- 5.1 What to do if GP won’t see you?
- 5.2 How long is the wait for a GP appointment UK?
- 5.3 What do you say when making a doctor’s appointment UK?
- 6 What to do if GP won’t help?
What do you say when booking a GP appointment?
I’m calling to book an appointment with Dr as soon as possible please. Thanks, I’d like to come at 3pm on Tuesday. Thanks, Goodbye. If you need a mental health care plan or you have a lot of mental health concerns to discuss with a GP you’ll need to book a long appointment.
How do I talk to a GP?
You can usually contact your GP surgery using a secure and confidential online form on their website. You can use the form to let a GP know about any symptoms you’re having, ask a question or follow up about something. This could be either about your own health or on behalf of someone you care for. Your GP surgery will use the information you give them to make sure you get the right help.
What is a routine GP appointment?
Doctor Appointments – Routine Doctor Appointments can be booked up to 14 days in advance. The purpose of routine appointments is for general health queries, diagnoses, and monitoring of conditions. Routine appointments last for 15 minutes. When you contact the surgery you will be offered the next available appointment.
Our waiting times for next available appointments vary throughout the year, however we always strive to reduce the time our patients need to wait to obtain the next available appointment. You are entitled to see a GP of your choice and you should make this clear to the Receptionists, who will do their best to meet your needs,
Please be aware that requesting a named GP, may increase your waiting time. Although we will always endeavour to offer you an appointment with the GP of your choice, there may be occasions where this will not always be possible.
Why can I not get a doctors appointment?
More than a quarter of patients who need appointments avoid making one because they find it too difficult, according to a new survey. The NHS GP Patient Survey 2022 showed a sharp rise in people struggling to get through to GP practices over the phone.
- Since last year, the share of respondents saying it was not easy to make contact with anyone jumped by nearly 15 percentage points to roughly 47% in the previous 12 months.
- Social media is full of memes about the obstacle of a GP’s receptionist and the struggle of the 8am phone queue for a same-day appointment.
But behind the humour is falling patient satisfaction and a growing struggle to access what is, for many, the first port of call for medical help, revealed this year by the survey. READ MORE: People wait days for out of hours GP services amid staff shortages Dr Omon Imohi, a 39-year-old GP in St Helens, said “there’s this notion that the GP receptionists are difficult to get through, but they can only offer what’s there, they can only give what they’ve got”.
- She worries about taking toilet breaks while trying to get through 18 face-to-face and remote consultations a day, on top of administrative work like processing prescriptions, blood test results and hospital referrals.
- She squeezes in extra appointments for people with urgent needs when she can, but there’s a limit how far any GP can stretch.
Dr Imohi, who is also vice chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) Mersey branch, told the ECHO: ” feel the frustration as well, because patients are shouting at them, sometimes patients are insulting them, but it’s not within their power.” The pandemic saw GP practices shift to online booking systems and phone consultations, some of them almost overnight.
- For older, poorer and less technologically savvy patients, this presents a barrier to accessing medical advice as they may lack the knowledge or resources to navigate the process.
- A common experience now is jumping on the phone at 8am in the hope of beating the queue for an appointment, then waiting for a callback for phone triage before getting an in-person appointment, although these are still less common than pre-pandemic.
Some slots are set aside for routine appointments booked days or weeks ahead, while others are reserved for emergencies in need of same-day attention. Roughly 53% of respondents to the GP Patient Survey found it easy to get through to their practice by phone, down from 68% the previous year.
Just more than half said they got an appointment at a time they wanted or sooner, down from 59% the 2021. According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), 44% of appointments, excluding Covid-19 vaccinations, took placed on the same day, while nearly three quarters were within seven days.
Dr Gary Howsam, vice chair of the RCGP, said: “The real issue is that we have a huge shortage of GPs, and our workforce is no longer big enough to manage the needs of an ageing and growing patient population with increasingly complex needs. This was the case before the pandemic and it has only been further exacerbated by the events of the past two years.” A spokesperson for DHSC said there are “now nearly 1,500 more doctors in general practice than before the pandemic”.
- But there’s the equivalent of 1,622 fewer full-time GPs treating greater numbers of patients compared with 2015, with the average GP working nearly 20% fewer hours, for a total of 38.4 per week, than in 2000.
- The NHS lost 743 GPs in the year from March 2021 to April 2022, according to the British Medical Association (BMA), and nearly half of current GPs plan to retire by 60, mostly due to burnout, a survey by GP magazine, Pulse, revealed.
Meanwhile, the population continues to grow, age and become sicker, leaving GPs with 16% more patients, roughly 300, than they did in seven years ago. Dr Imohi said “the problems that were there before are still there”, but piled on top of a staffing crisis and climbing waiting lists, are the disruption of the pandemic and the growing difficulty securing GP appointments.
- She faces increasingly complex cases, with conditions getting worse and new ones emerging by the time patients see a doctor.
- This is getting so bad, she’s had to increase the standard length of many appointments from 10 minutes to 15, to provide enough time for a proper consultation.
- Dr Imohi, who herself struggles to get an appointment with her own GP, said: “By the time are seeing you, you’re wondering, ‘Oh, why didn’t you come earlier’ and they’re telling you, ‘I’ve been trying for the past three weeks, I’ve been calling every morning and they just tell me to call at eight o’clock in the morning’.
“Sometimes, by the time they call and they’ve been on the queue for a while, by the time it gets to them, the appointments are gone, because while they’re on the phone, some patients come in through the door and book the appointment face-to-face. “There are not enough doctors, there are not enough clinicians.
- Even if you had five GPs in the practice of maybe 12,000 patients, we can only see so many in a day.
- Once those appointment slots are filled up, it’s difficult.
- We might be able to see a few emergencies or extras, but there’s a limit to how many we can see.” More than 4,000 trainees accepted places to begin GP training in 2021/22, according to the NHS’s Health Education England.
This is a “record number”, according to DHSC, but this specialist training takes three years, meaning doctors and patients won’t see the benefits until 2024, when the department hopes to have created 50m extra GP appointments Patients still overwhelmingly trust health professionals when they do see them, according to the GP surgery, the share of respondents saying they had a good overall experience at their GP practice was 72%, down from 83% last year.
Satisfaction with GP services is lower among younger age groups and more deprived groups, along with some ethnic and religious minorities. On July 1, an integrated care system, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, replaced Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership. It aims to bring partner organisations together to improve health outcomes, tackle health inequalities, and increase productivity and value for money.
A spokesperson said: “The results of this recent patient survey show the scale of the challenge we face nationally and locally around ensuring people get access to the services they need. Nationally, we note, the survey shows the most significant drop in patient satisfaction with regard to access to GPs, either through phone or face-to-face appointments, as well as out of hours services.
- Although Cheshire and Merseyside perform better than the national average in many areas, we are utterly committed to doing more.
- When patients do consult with their GP, it is encouraging to see that satisfaction levels remain extremely high in the trust and confidence people have in their GP – 94% satisfaction – again, above the national average.
“Covid is still part of our daily lives and has certainly had an impact on GP services. Our GPs are actually having more daily contacts with patients now than they did before the pandemic. And this is testament to the hard work and innovative thinking across our system.
- We are already making use of the information provided in this survey to improve our offer where we can and share best practice with colleagues.
- We have some exceptional examples across Cheshire and Merseyside where satisfaction is significantly higher than the national average, and also some areas where it is lower.” Dr Howsam of RCGP said: “GP teams are working flat out to deliver increasingly complex care to the rising numbers of patients that need it.
More consultations are consistently being delivered every month than before the pandemic, and nearly half of these on the same day they are booked. “But while the complexity and intensity of GP workload is ever-growing, the number of full-time, fully qualified GPs is falling and we simply don’t have the time or resources to deliver the type of care we want to deliver for our patients.
Our patients – and our GPs and practice teams – deserve better. That’s why the College has launched our Fit for the Future campaign calling on government to address the spiralling workload and workforce pressures in general practice. “We want urgent action to improve patients’ experiences, including investment into IT and booking systems, alongside a new recruitment and retention strategy that allows us to achieve and go beyond the target of 6,000 more GPs.
We also need to see a reduction in unnecessary bureaucracy, so that GPs can spend more time delivering care to patients. “The findings from the latest Patient Survey must not be used to criticise already-demoralised hardworking GPs and our teams, but to serve as a wake-up call to politicians and policy makers that GPs must be appropriately supported so we can deliver the best possible care to all our patients when they need it.” The Department of Health and Social Care said it made more than £520m available for improving access and expanding GP capacity during the pandemic, in addition to the £1.5bn it announced in 2020 for extra GP appointments.
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Why is it so hard to get a GP appointment?
Dr Deja-vu? How the revolving door of health secretaries has vowed to fix the GP appointment crisis – Over the past 18 months multiple health secretaries have vowed to make it easier to get a GP appointment. Sajid Javid, who inherited the title of Health Secretary from Matt Hancock said in October 2021 as he announced a £250m to help improve patient access in the winter of that year: ‘I am determined to ensure patients can see their GP in the way they want, no matter where they live.’ And successor Dr Therese Coffey vowed to ease the 8am ‘Glastonbury ticket-esque’ scramble to phone a GP for an appointment through the installation of new phone systems.
In September, during her brief tenure in the role as part of the short-lived Liz Truss administration, she said: ‘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.’ Current Health Secretary Steve Barclay, who picked up the mantle from Dr Coffey, said in November as he unveiled new GP practice data was on face-to-face appointments originally touted by Mr Javid: ‘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.’ Read more on the ‘merry-go-round’ of health secretaries here,
‘People haven’t seen any discernible improvement in the situation since the end of the pandemic,’ he said. ‘There’s been a lot of good intentions from the Government with a carrot and stick approach but none of it appears to have really scratched the figures.’ He added that despite repeated ‘good intentions’ from ministers, progress on face-to-face appointments was ‘funereal’, with the issue having faded into the background amid the NHS strikes on pay.
Mr Reed said this risked a lower level of face-to-face appointments compared to pre-Covid of becoming the new normal. ‘There doesn’t appear to be any great action on improving the situation with GP appointments and this sort level is becoming ingrained in the figures,’ he said. Although access to face-to-face appointments has been a problem, some patients are often struggling to get through to a family doctor at all.
The latest tale of GP access woe comes from patients registered with Montgomery-House Surgery in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Patients there claim to have been stuck for days at a time trying to contact their practice for an appointment, rushing to call at 8.30am when the lines open only to be trapped in a queue for hours.
While waiting, they are occasionally blasted with the recorded voice stating: ‘Thank you for your patience during the current pandemic.’ Some patients stuck in this maddening loop for more than an hour said they opted to head to the practice itself to see if they could book an appointment in-person.
But the receptionist then told them to fill out an online form to describe their symptoms that their GP could then look at. But this left some patients tearing their hair out as, after using the form, they were greeted with the message: ‘We can’t safely assess your symptoms through this online request.
You need to talk to someone today instead.’ Mr Reed claimed similar chaos was happening across the country. ‘All of things they’ve described I hear every day,’ he told MailOnline. ‘People feel that they are just banging their heads against a wall. ‘It’s a Catch-22 situation, you can’t find your way through the system, you turn one corner and there’s another barrier in your way.
‘It gives the impression that certain practices don’t want to see patients.’ The latest NHS data on GP appointments for November showed the majority were not with a family doctor, instead being picked up another staff member like a nurse or paramedic He said this process was ‘dehumanising’ for patients because they feel like they’ve become little more than a number in a telephone queue or a code on a form.
‘Patients are increasingly being seen as bundles of data,’ Mr Reed said. ‘They’re real people who want to talk about their conditions, want some empathy, want to be able to talk to a human being, not have to tap on a keyboard.’ The campaigner added that said GPs’ ‘antiquated’ telephone systems needed improvement across the country.
‘The Government keeps promising they’re going to improve the telephone systems, and a lot of them are really antiquated, but I don’t see any signs that things are improving,’ he said. ‘It’s the everyday experience of people trying to engage with GP practices, and something has to be done.’ Healthwatch England, another patient advocacy body, told MailOnline access to a family doctor is the ‘top issue’ people are raising with them.
Louise Ansari, the organisation’s national director, said: ‘People continue telling us about the difficulties they face getting through to their local practice, including long waits on the phone, issues with online booking systems and a lack of available face-to-face appointments.’ As well as causing frustration, barriers to booking GP appointments could also cause patients harm and put pressure on other NHS services if their condition deteriorates.
‘GP services are often the first port of call for people who need care and so the lack of easy access puts people’s health and wellbeing at risk and increases demand on overstretched hospitals – both from those who cannot get a GP appointment so seek care at A&E, and from people who now need more advanced care and treatment because they were unable to get help sooner,’ she said.
The patient group has called for NHS England to undertake a formal review of GP access to ensure the system works for all patients, including keeping the information they communicate to patients updated. Rachel Power, chief executive of charity The Patients Association, claimed it had also been told of similar problems.
More than a third of patients were unable to access a GP when they needed one in the past year, a MailOnline survey revealed today. The poll of 1,500 Brits showed 34 per cent said they could not get an appointment their local doctor or other NHS services when they tried to in 2022 ‘We hear from members they experience difficulties getting through to their general practice and booking appointments that meet their needs,’ she said.
‘This has been going on for a long time and we do not believe it will be resolved until there is a workforce strategy that ensures we have enough doctors and nurses to deliver the care patients need.’ The Patients Association has been calling for extra funding to improve GP telephone services for years, to help family doctors to install extra phone lines and pay for more staff to answer calls to help reduce queues.
‘Improving general practices’ ability to handle calls would reduce patients’ frustration and increase satisfaction with their practices, and probably alleviate pressure on receptionists too,’ she said. The Government has some plans to enable Britons to book GP appointments without resorting to telephone queues such as using the NHS app to let patients book consultations in advance.
Think-tank Future Health added that family doctors are not doing themselves any favours by failing to update pandemic-era messaging. Richard Sloggett, programme director for the body’s research centre, said: ‘Given the pressures facing the NHS it is perhaps not surprising that GP phone systems and websites still contain outdated information and advice on the pandemic.
‘But this poor information creates confusion and wastes time and effort for both patients and busy staff.’ Mr Sloggert added that the Government needed to both update and standardise GP phone systems and booking systems and that it would deliver massive benefits in battling the 8am scramble for appointments for little cost.
- ‘The technology exists to easily standardise websites and automate information updates.
- A small investment could deliver a much wider set of benefits,’ he said.
- ‘It is time to upgrade GP websites and phone systems and create a better front door that works for patients.’ Multiple health secretaries have vowed to drastically boost the number of face-to-face appointments.
Sajid Javid was involved in the ongoing row with family doctors over a lack of face-to-face appointments, at one point blaming it for the A&E crisis as it left sick Brits with nowhere else to turn to. And in October 2021 he pledged: ‘I am determined to ensure patients can see their GP in the way they want, no matter where they live.’ Therese Coffey, who was in charge of the Department of Health during Liz Truss’s 49-day tenure as PM, vowed to ease the 8am ‘Glastonbury ticket-esque’ scramble to phone a GP for an appointment.
- Her Plan for Patients involved new telephone systems to make it easier to get through to receptionists and keep callers updated of their place in the queue.
- Dr Coffey, upon unveiling her plans in September, said: ‘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.’ She has since been supplanted by Steve Barclay, who said in November as he published new GP practice-level data on face-to-face appointments: ‘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.’ NHS data showed that 51 per cent of the 8,000 appointments held at Bicester’s Montgomery-House Surgery in November were face-to-face, below the national average.
But the practice didn’t even make it into the 50 lowest performing practices in England by this metric. Analysis of experimental NHS data found as few as one in six appointments in some surgeries were face-to-face in November. One of the lowest performers overall was Bath Road Surgery in Hounslow, west London, where only 900 of the some 6,000 appointments that month were face-to-face, only 15 per cent of the total.
- The league table of practice-by-practice data, compiled by the health service’s statistics body NHS Digital, was brought in by the Government to effectively name and shame poor-performing surgeries,
- But the experimental data has been described as being of ‘poor’ quality by the NHS’s statistics body, meaning it may not capture the full picture and is more prone to reporting errors.
NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care Board, which is responsible for the health service in the area covered by Montgomery-House Surgery, was contacted for comment. A spokesperson for Montgomery-House Surgery said: ‘Demand for GP services is high everywhere and practices are doing their best to meet patients’ needs with the resources they have.
‘We know that most of our patients are aware of these pressures and appreciate their understanding and patience as we work to improve our service.’ They added that they were monitoring their phone system waiting times and that they had been higher than expected in December due to staff being ill with flu and Covid, and that the practice had recruited more staff to meet demand.
The spokesperson also said the practice has now changed their pandemic automated message but it was still playing when MailOnline called the practice. ‘Patient care is our priority and we cannot comment on individual cases but encourage patients to feedback their experiences of using services to us directly so that we can review and respond to individual cases,’ they said.
Patients have continually expressed their frustration over a failure of GP services to return to pre-pandemic levels of access, particularly regarding face-to-face appointments. Despite 80 per cent of patients being seen in-person pre-Covid, top doctors have suggested the figure may never return to this level.
They have said the mixture of in-person and remote appointments is balanced and that patients shouldn’t have a face-to-face appointment simply because they would prefer one. The sector is also being hit by a staffing crisis, with too few GPs for too many patients, especially in some parts of the country.
This crisis is partly being fuelled as increasing numbers of doctors are reducing their working hours and retiring early, while some are leaving for the private sector or abroad because of the pressures. Doctors’ union, the British Medical Association, estimated England is short of about 2,000 GPs, with recruitment failing to keep pace with demand.
Professor Kamila Hawthorne, chairman of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), said: ‘We understand and share our patients’ frustrations when they are unable to easily access the care and services they need and that we want and are trained to deliver. ‘However, hardworking GP teams are being blamed for a situation that is not their fault and beyond their control.
‘Successive governments have failed to sufficiently invest in general practice for over a decade and we are now seeing the consequences, with overstretched and understaffed GP teams trying their best to deliver patient care in extremely difficult circumstances.’ She said that this winter in particular was showing how busy GPs were.
‘This winter, we are the first port of call for the increased rates of winter viruses such as influenza-like illnesses and exacerbation of chronic respiratory conditions, as well as cases of streptococcal tonsillitis,’ she said. ‘This is in addition to delivering vital winter immunisation programmes and delivering interim care to the millions of patients on NHS waiting lists.’ The RCGP has been calling for the Government to implement a new recruitment and retention strategy for GPs in England that goes beyond the 6,000 family doctors pledged by Conservatives in their last election manifesto.
- Dr Kieran Sharrock, the British Medical Association’s England GP committee acting chairman, also said family doctors are frustrated by the situation.
- ‘GPs share the frustration of patients when they find it difficult to get through to their practice,’ he said.
- ‘It is a simple case of demand outstripping capacity, as any receptionist will tell you as they manage the huge volumes of patients calling to book into limited appointment slots daily, creating bottlenecks.’ He said patients were being let down by a lack of a Government strategy to keep family doctors working.
‘With this mismatch it’s regrettable but inevitable that some patients are waiting longer, as practice teams try their best to manage demand and ensure that people who need their care most get it.’ He added that a lack of trained GP practice receptionists was also a factor.
‘Many practices do not have enough receptionists to manage the incoming queries,’ he said. ‘They struggle to recruit and keep these valuable team members due to the extreme pressures of the job and a lack of investment in practices that means they receive better pay elsewhere. ‘So, while we recognise the distress and frustration when people struggle to get through, the abuse that many of our front desk colleagues experience on a daily basis is wholly unacceptable and will only make the problem worse as it drives more to leave.’ A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson insisted it had been clear that GPs must offer face-to-face appointments and respect patient preferences for them.
‘We are clear that GP practices must provide face-to-face appointments alongside remote consultations, and should respect the preferences of patients unless there are good clinical reasons to the contrary,’ they said. ‘NHS England is accelerating the delivery of cloud-based telephony systems, which will support GP practices in improving call handling and allow them to plan for staffing during busy periods.’ An NHS England spokesperson added: ‘GP teams are working non-stop to get people the care they need, delivering millions more appointments compared to pre-pandemic, with two-thirds getting seen within a week and seven in ten patients getting treated in person.’ Although Covid has faded into the background, the virus can still disrupt GP services.
This can be due to staff needing time off if they fall ill from the virus as well as practice working hours being used to rollout Covid vaccines. Within the past few days Mr Javid has repeated his claim that the current NHS model is ‘unsustainable’ and backed calls for radical reforms that would see patients charged for GP appointments,
Former health secretary and veteran Tory Ken Clarke also put forward a similar argument earlier this month. The latest row over GP access comes after an analysis of NHS data found more than five million people a month were unable to book a GP appointment in the year up to October 2022.
Can you text a GP?
You may be able to: view messages from your NHS healthcare services (through the NHS App Messaging service) send messages to your GP surgery. request advice and view responses from your GP surgery, or follow up on things like test results (sometimes called an online consultation)
How do I tell my doctor I have anxiety?
How your doctor can help you manage anxiety – There are several approaches that can help you cope with anxiety, and you can guide your own treatment plan. One size does not fit all. It is important to remain honest with your provider about how you would like to manage your symptoms. Medication. Many people fear that they will be advised only to start medications. This may be suggested, as medication can be helpful in some cases. But you can say that you prefer conservative or alternative measures. After all, this is your health we’re talking about.
- Before stopping any medication, discuss this with your provider—stopping abruptly can worsen symptoms.
- Lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise and eating healthy can improve your symptoms.
- We can also incorporate integrative medicine into your plan, which consists of meditation, yoga, emotional support animals, acupuncture and massage therapy to help manage stress,
Overall health. We’ll also evaluate your overall physical health by ruling out thyroid conditions, sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea, and autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis that can cause anxiety. Managing vitamin D and iron levels can also help improve your symptoms.
By just checking your vitals, we can help get to the root cause of your anxiety. Counseling. Treatment plans can consist of just counseling. Wait times for therapy appointments can be long, but this should not deter you from making an appointment, even if it is 1-2 months away. Keep the appointment and remain proactive by calling to check for cancellations.
You can also request to be on a wait list. Feel free to discuss with your doctor if you would like to speak to a therapist with special experience in your area of concern, such as substance abuse, LGBTQ, physical abuse, sexual abuse or cultural disparities.
Know that your symptoms do not have to be, nor will they probably be, resolved in one visit. And if you begin taking medication, you do not have to be on it for the rest of your life. Your treatment can continuously be adjusted. Many people suffer from anxiety—too many. Build a positive relationship with your doctor by finding a provider you trust and feel comfortable opening up with about your feeling of anxiety.
Early detection and treatment are key to preventing severe symptoms and improving your quality of life. If you are concerned about your anxiety, reach out to your doctor for guidance. Don’t have a primary care physician? Find one near you or get virtual care today,
How long should you wait for GP appointment?
There’s no set time within which patients should be given an appointment to see the GP. Whether someone phones in or books an appointment in person, they might not get one very quickly because the surgery is busy. Lucy and Winston often got appointments at a time that was convenient for them. For Emma, though, it was common to wait over a week for a non-urgent appointment.
How long should a GP appointment be?
This is nothing to be proud of. Also the Royal College of General Practice, in 2019, recommended that they should be at least 15 minutes. It is your right to ask for a double appointment (20 mins).
How many GP appointments per session?
Unsafe working contacts – The European Union of General Practitioners and BMA have recommended a safe level of patient contacts per day in order for a GP to deliver safe care at not more than 25 contacts per day. ‘At Your Service’, published by the Policy Exchange and forwarded by Sajid Javid, states that 28 patient contacts per day is safe.
- Present contacts per day by GPs in England are significantly in excess of this.
- At Your Service” highlights that GPs are seeing on average 37 patients per day.
- We recommend that practices take urgent action to move towards safe consultation numbers per day.
- Excess demand beyond safe levels should be directed to NHS 111, extended access hubs, or other providers.
We strongly recommend moving away from a ‘duty doctor’ system with uncapped demand. This is where clinicians may be expected to maintain unsafe levels of patient contacts in a day. In order to provide extra capacity for patient care, alternative sources should be taken advantage of wherever possible.
- extended access appointments
- walk in clinic services
- clinical pharmacy consultation service (CPCS)
- ARRS staff with their role diverted to maximally support core provision of patient care
NHS 111 can directly book GP appointment slots to a maximum of 1 appointment per 3000 patients. It is for the practice re-triage these patients and decide how to manage them. Many GPs now have access to remote working solutions and utilise these to manage their working day and current patient demand.
- Remote access can encourage a working culture that means GPs work more.
- For example, by logging in on evenings and weekends.
- This working culture should be avoided as it can disproportionately impact women and part-time GPs.
- Sessional GPs are an integral and crucial component of practices.
- We advocate involving them in discussions at all stages when you are making changes.
This is to comply with employment law related to changes in working practices, but also to utilise their expertise and experience to help shape the provision of patient services.
What to do if GP won’t see you?
Register for GP online services – If you can’t get an appointment with your GP by phone, you might get a quicker response by submitting your query online. Most GP practices offer a website or app where you can request appointments, submit questions, or order prescriptions.
- Visit your GP’s website to find out what online services your surgery offers, and to get started.
- Try to be clear and descriptive when filling in an online consultation form.
- Say how urgent your issue is and if you need a face-to-face appointment.
- Be specific if there is something that you are worried about.
This will help your doctor to prioritise your request and respond accordingly.
Do you have to tell GP receptionist what’s wrong?
Although it’s not essential to tell the GP receptionist your problem when asked at the front desk or over the phone, it can benefit both you and the GP practice.
How often can you go to the GP?
If you don’t have health insurance – In the United States, if you don’t have health insurance or can’t afford healthcare costs, you may want to do the following:
Contact your local healthcare facilities and ask if they offer discount rates for low income households or those who are uninsured.Find a healthcare facility that offers payment plans you can afford.Find community clinics or organizations that offer free or discounted rates for routine checkups.
Several organizations provide affordable healthcare, but they’re not always easy to find, particularly in rural areas:
Free clinics. If there aren’t any free clinics in your area, look in nearby cities. Federally Qualified Health Centers. These community-based facilities provide affordable, accessible high-quality primary care in underserved areas across the country. Charity care. This financial aid program covers routine doctor visits in limited areas of the country. They can be difficult to find, but calling your local hospital social worker or large hospitals in your state may help you find this type of care. Hill-Burton facilities. Located throughout the country, Hill-Burton facilities are obligated to provide free or reduced-cost care.
Another option is to find low-cost insurance through the healthcare marketplace, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, There, you can find low-cost comprehensive coverage, including preventive care. Based on your income, financial assistance is available if the insurance is purchased through the healthcare marketplace.
In most parts of the United States, the healthcare marketplace is run by the federal government at HealthCare.gov, It’s important to take charge and feel empowered about your health. Getting routine checkups is a great way to do that. Regular checkups can help you improve your health and reduce your risk of getting sick.
The recommendations regarding how often you should see your doctor for a checkup are based on your age, risk factors, and current health status. While opinions vary, routine physical exams are generally recommended once a year if you’re over the age of 50, and once every 3 years if you’re younger than 50 and in good health.
How long does it take to get a GP appointment UK?
This Is The Average Wait For A GP’s Appointment In England Right Now Do you feel you’re waiting forever to get an appointment with your GP? Well, you’re not the only one. Nearly five million patients every month in England are waiting more than two weeks for a GP appointment, according to the latest figures from the NHS. All patients need to be able to be seen by a GP within two weeks, the government says.85% of appointments take place within two weeks whilst nearly half of patients are seen on the same day, according to The Royal College of GPs. Any appointment that takes longer than two weeks are possibly routine ones which explains why there’s a long wait, it shares. “GPs and our teams are working tirelessly to deliver safe, timely and appropriate care and to give patients the choice of appointment they want,” Prof Kamila Hawthorne, who chairs the Royal College of GPs, said. “We share our patients’ frustration when they struggle to access our care. However, this is not down to GPs and their hard-working teams, but due to decades of underfunding and poor resource planning,” Hawthorne adds. This comes after Liz Truss announced plans in September for patients to see a GP within a two-week time frame and o stick to the four-hour A&E target, both have not been achieved. “Patients are finding it impossible to get a GP appointment when they need one, after 13 years of Conservative broken promises and understaffing of the NHS,” social care secretary Wes Streeting said in a speech on Friday. Currently, there are around 30 million GP appointments each month in England \r\n\r\n”,”\r\n\r\n”,”\r\n\r\n”,”\r\n\r\n”],”adCount”:0}}> : This Is The Average Wait For A GP’s Appointment In England Right Now
How long is the wait for a GP appointment UK?
The average waiting time for a routine GP appointment has reduced from 19 days to 10 days, an improvement of 47% which has surpassed the team’s aim set at the start of the project. The practice is continuing to make improvements so hoping this waiting time will reduce further. For patients this means quicker access to a routine appointment. As patients are able to see or speak to a GP sooner the demand for urgent care appointments has reduced, meaning the urgent appointments have fallen from 48% of the total, to 37%. There has been a 12% increase in telephone appointments which has reduced the number of patients seeing a GP face to face by 8%. The new clinical pharmacist has helped release six hours of GP time per week across the practice. This represents a 90% drop in medication tasks that were previously sent to GPs and are now dealt with by the pharmacist. Interruptions to GPs have reduced by 30%, helping GPs finish duty earlier and safer. This is due to GPs feeling less stressed as they are able to focus on their work without constant interruption. Better signposting and patient awareness has led to a 20% increase for nurse appointments, which are picked up by the increased capacity made available through the new nurse practitioner recruited. A self assessment of nurses, nurse practitioners and GPs on duty; before and after the changes (which covered a number of different factors including how well supported they felt and how safe they felt clinically), showed there has been a 15% improvement in stress levels across on-call staff. Unnecessary interruptions to GPs and general staff have fell by 60%.
The programme has had a great impact on me, the practice, my role in the CCG and federation. It’s energised my enthusiasm in a time of great pressure and given me something to enjoy. There’s been lots of benefits for my practice and patients, and I am really proud of the changes we’ve made.
How long is a GP appointment UK?
So, do shorter appointments have an impact on patients’ wellbeing? – Dr Greg Irving, of the Primary Care Unit at Cambridge commented on the findings. He said: “Short consultations adversely affect patient care. A lack of time in the consultation is a key constraint to delivering expert generalist care.” The British Medical Association recommends that GP appointments should be at least 15 minutes long.
Commenting on the study, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of theRoyal College of GPs said:”The time GPs have to spend with our patients is precious, and the more time we are able to spend with them, the better patient-centred care we are able to provide – so it’s concerning to see that every UK study included in this research shows that we are spending less than 10 minutes on average with our patients during their consultation.She added: “Increasingly, patients are living with multiple, long-term chronic conditions, both physical and psychological – and at the same time GPs are being asked to do more checks, ask more questions and give more advice as standard during consultations.”The standard 10-minute appointment is simply inadequate to deal with this.”
What do you say when making a doctor’s appointment UK?
Booking an appointment with your doctor Each doctors’ surgery might have slightly different ways of booking appointments. If you call or visit the doctors’ surgery to make an appointment, start by saying: ‘I’d like to book an appointment with a doctor please. ‘
What to do if GP won’t help?
What you can do if your symptoms are dismissed or ignored – All of these stories offer us valuable lessons. If you feel that your healthcare professional isn’t really listening or heeding your concerns, there are many steps you can take to get the answers you seek. Here are a few suggestions:
If your symptoms are ignored, ask, “What might this be?” And then ask, “What do I do if these symptoms get worse?” These type of questions help the doctor to stop and consider the options. Learning from Jennifer’s story, you might want to phrase it as, “What else might this be?” Just because you have one established condition, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a second issue that needs independent investigating. Try to find a medical practice you can trust. Healthcare professionals are under severe time constraints but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have time to hear their patients’ reasonable concerns and goals. If you feel that your doctor or nurse-practitioner is consistently ignoring what you have to say, even if your symptoms continue to progress, find another primary care practice. If you feel your primary care doctor doesn’t take your symptoms seriously, ask for a referral to a specialist or go to a different practice for a second opinion. A fresh set of eyes can be extremely helpful. Review how to present your symptoms factually, clearly, quickly, and without unnecessary minutiae. Sometimes symptoms aren’t ignored by the doctor, they’re just lost in a list that’s too long or includes what the clinician feels are irrelevant details. Ask them how to best present the information. Most importantly, put your symptoms into context, Learn about the types of screenings that should be performed routinely for patients of your age, gender, and race. Here is a link to a document that lists preventative screenings for adults by these criteria. Discuss it with your medical practice. If they refuse to do the relevant routine screenings, seek another medical practice that is more conscientious and aware of why different genders, ages, and races have different medical concerns. Speak up. Diana Cejas recognizes that her reluctance to share the depth of her concerns played a part in how long it took her to get diagnosed. However, she knows that many patients feel uncomfortable asserting themselves to doctors. Dr. Cejas says, “Be willing to fight for yourself and your body but don’t be willing to put on the boxing gloves” when you first walk in. Instead, she recommends you ask for help figuring out how to deal with your symptoms now and eventually find the cause of those symptoms. While it is important to learn about your symptoms from reliable sources, doing so doesn’t mean demanding specific tests or treatments for some rare disorder you haven’t been diagnosed with. Dr. Cejas recommends asking for help in dealing with your symptoms politely yet firmly.
The Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM) catalyzes and leads change to improve diagnosis and eliminate harm from diagnostic error. We work in partnership with patients, their families, the healthcare community, and every interested stakeholder.
SIDM is the only organization focused solely on the problem of diagnostic error and improving the accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis. In 2015, SIDM established the Coalition to Improve Diagnosis, to increase awareness and actions that improve diagnosis. Members of the Coalition represent hundreds of thousands of healthcare providers and patients—and the leading health organizations and government agencies involved in patient care.
Together, we work to find solutions that enhance diagnostic safety and quality, reduce harm, and ultimately, ensure better health outcomes for patients. Visit our website at www.improvediagnosis.org, and follow us on Twitter or Facebook, Helene M. Epstein writes about patient safety and family health. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, Republish our Dx IQ articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons license. Please do not edit the piece. Ensure that you attribute the author and mention that the article was originally published by the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.