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Mar 17 2015
Patients to face longer waits for GP appointments, survey suggests

Posted by Ian Johnston

70% of family doctors say waiting times will increase More than seven in ten family doctors think patients will face longer waiting times to see them over the next two years, according to a major survey of Britain’s GPs. Over 70% of GPs surveyed for the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) said they think their patients will have to wait for  GP Appointments, and almost a half (47%) say that they have cut back on the range of services they provide. The survey shows that more than 80% of family doctors say that they now have insufficient resources to provide high quality patient care. As well as the reduction in patient services, 39% of respondents to the ComRes poll also said they had cut practice staff and over half had experienced difficulty recruiting and retaining GPs. Four in five GPs said they were concerned that it will become increasingly difficult to deliver continuity of care to vulnerable elderly people, while almost three quaretrs (72%) say that the amount of time they are able to spend on frontline patient care has been reduced as a result of the new clinical commissioning responsibilities they have been given.

Longer waits for GP appointments

The RCGP said it is now calling on all four Governments across the UK for an emergency package of additional investment for general practice before there are disastrous consequences for patients. RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada said the survey results “paint a bleak picture” for patients, the profession and the future of general practice. She said: “GPs are grappling with a ‘double whammy’ of spiralling workloads and dwindling resources, and big cracks are now starting to appear in the care and services that we can deliver for our patients.” Read more about Private Medical Insurance

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