BBC News: GP Appointments

October 14, 2021


The BBC reports on the Government drive to get more face to face Doctor appointments after the increased use of online consultations during the pandemic lockdown periods.

Extracts

Only 58% of patients were seen face-to-face in August – the first full month following the ending of restrictions. That compares with 54% in January and more than 80% before the pandemic.

“I'm determined to ensure patients can see their GP in the way they want, no matter where they live.

“Our new plan provides general practice teams with investment and targeted support. This will tackle underperformance, taking pressure off staff so they can spend more time with patients and increase the number of face-to-face appointments.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid

But Dr Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association, said he was “hugely dismayed” with the package. “It offers very little and shows a government out of touch with the scale of the crisis on the ground.”

He said patients would “continue to suffer” and find it harder to book appointments.

“It is disappointing to see there is no end in sight to the preoccupation with face-to-face appointments.”

He said in-person appointments were still a key feature of GP care but the pandemic had proven phone or video consultations were “entirely appropriate and appreciated” by many.

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