Quarter of patients wait over a week for GP appointment, statistics reveal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 September 2018

Patients are facing longer waiting times to see their family doctor. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Patients are facing longer waiting times to see their family doctor. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

This content is subject to copyright.

People are waiting up to a week to see their GP, figures show.

nga doctors notenga doctors note

Of the patients from the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) area who responded to the NHS’s annual GP survey, 27 per cent waited a week or more to see a GP or a nurse last time they booked an appointment.

Five years ago, just 16 per cent had to wait that long.

Dr John Heather from New Court Surgery in Locking Road, who leads the Weston and Worle locality group, a partnership of surgeries, said: “There are a number of reasons for GP waiting times rising, there is no magic bullet.

“In Weston and Worle we have a very large number of increasingly frail people and a large number of care homes.

doctor~1doctor~1

“In England we have an ageing population, there is an expectation of what you can do for the patient and this need is growing all the time as people are living longer and their health deteriorates.”

Dr Heather said 50 per cent of job vacancies are unfilled after a year. Weston and Worle is also in danger of losing GPs to retirement as half the GPs in the locality are more than 55 years old.

He added: “Young doctors are very sparse and people are looking to work as a locum instead of in a partnership.

“The more attractive places to work are near universities or in cities like Bristol.”

Dr Heather has urged people to stick with their own doctors to ensure care standards are upheld.

He added: “When you see your family doctors, they know you, have access to your records and can prescribe the best care. Locums will put in a lot more investigations as they are seeing you for the first time.”

Weston surgeries will use a £400,000 Government grant to try to improve recruitment and workloads.

A BNSSG CCG spokesman said: “The CCG is working closely with practices to reduce waiting times and in particular, practices in Weston are working with us on a pilot project which is looking at how patients can be seen quickly by the right person.”

More from Weston Mercury

55 minutes ago

The first round proper of the FA Cup awaits Weston-super-Mare after beating Bath City 1-0 in a pulsating tie this afternoon (Saturday).

Read more
15:00

Don’t miss our weekly round-up of readers’ pictures and share yours with the Mercury at: www.iwitness24.co.uk

Read more
iwitness24

Weston’s X Factor hopeful has said she ‘would not change a thing’ after failing to progress to the next round.

Read more
12:00

Social media users are unhappy plans to expand The Mall shopping centre at Bristol’s Cribbs Causeway have been torn up, despite claims from political chiefs the decision is good for Weston-super-Mare’s businesses.

Read more
14:53

Events were held in Weston to mark World Mental Health Day.

Read more

The iconic songs of America’s most commercially successful rock band will be recreated in Weston-super-Mare next month, and Mercury readers could win tickets to the show.

Read more
08:02

More people are dying in care homes instead of in hospital.

Read more
07:40

A preschool will shut in Yatton at the end of the month as a lack of funding means it can no longer afford to go on.

Read more
Yatton
Yesterday, 21:00

The familiar roar of motorbikes will be heard for miles around in Weston this weekend as the beach race returns.

Read more
Yesterday, 20:45

Live music, puppetry and a captivating fairytale world awaits this month.

Read more
Clevedon

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 7°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists