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.


“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

Visitors to Weston’s Grand Pier will be able to immerse themselves in a new state-of-the-art virtual reality experience once it is unveiled this weekend.

Read more

Weston slipped up at home to high-flying Woking, with defensive errors proving costly.

Read more

Runners dressed as reindeer, elves and Santas and raced across Weston-super-Mare beach in the Christmas Cracker 10k.

Read more

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from November 5-14.

Read more
In The Dock
Yesterday, 20:00

Two of the West Country’s top performing choral groups will bring their melodic tunes to Weston this Christmas.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A Cheddar school has been praised for its ‘shared vision for care and inclusion’ by an education watchdog.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Parking in Burnham-on-Sea and Cheddar will be free on the two Saturdays before Christmas.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

A Somerset village has been awarded hundreds of thousands of pounds to create a community hub after enduring months of problems.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

A plan to build futuristic magnet train between Weston and Bristol has been proposed to avoid the creation of a ‘dormitory town the size of Wells’.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:50

A blue plaque commemorating one of Weston’s most famous architects will be dedicated this week.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

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

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 7°C

Useful Links

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

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Our Privacy Policy

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists