Responding to a survey by Pulse1 which found that the average wait for a routine GP appointment is now more than two weeks, BMA GP committee chair, Dr Richard Vautrey, said:
“Waiting times are a key indicator of the pressure on services and these latest figures highlight the reality of the capacity issues that many GP practices across the country are facing.
“GPs’ number one priority is treating their patients and they work incredibly hard to do so, often outside of their contracted hours in practices that are understaffed.
“What is clear however, is that despite the best efforts of practices, patient demand is continuing to grow and with it the rise in the number of those with increasingly complex and chronic conditions where longer and multiple appointments are necessary.
“Whilst we are not seeing the much-needed rise in the number of GPs the Government has committed to deliver, the commitment secured as part of the GP contract negotiations in England for new funding to employ increased numbers of healthcare staff to work alongside GPs in their practices is a positive step forward and should help in tackling the challenges of catering to the growing needs of the population.
“Indeed, the delivery of 20,000 healthcare staff over the next four years as part of this package of reform will see a welcome expansion of the workforce and will increasingly free up GPs to do what they do best – care for patients.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives
- For more information on the Pulse survey, please contact Pulse editor Jaimie Kaffash at [email protected], 020 7214 0567
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