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Patients choosing A&E over GPs

Patients choosing A&E over GPs


Research shows 18% of people have gone to A&E rather than wait for a GP appointment.

A survey commissioned by Daisy Group, which advises GP practices on improving efficiency through telephone solutions researched people’s experiences of GP appointment booking.

They found that 39% say it is ‘difficult’ or ‘almost impossible’ to get an appointment. 36% of people had also experienced a medical condition noticeably deteriorate whilst waiting to see a doctor to receive treatment.

When asked about how confident they’d feel about alternative solutions to GP contact time. 52%  said they would rather wait for four days or more to see their doctor face-to-face as opposed to speaking to them over the phone or via video conference.

Christine O’Connor, a representative from Daisy Health, said: “It does not surprise me that 18% of people would rather go directly to hospital than wait for a doctor’s appointment, but it costs the already cash-strapped NHS more than double for them to do so.

The results of the survey come after Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for health admitted that he had breeched NHS guidelines and taken his daughter to A&E rather than wait to see her GP.

The research highlighted a number of regional between attitudes towards services. 29% of Londoners admitted to heading to A&E rather than waiting for the GP. 28% of Scots thought the NHS has worsened and 14% of those living in the north-east felt it had improved

O’Connor said: “Ongoing issues with shortages of family doctors and an ageing population means that GP surgeries are being asked to do more with less, and patients are becoming increasingly frustrated with the situation.

“It is essential that surgeries are as efficient and fair as they can be with the resources available through automated appointment booking, call redirection and queuing features, so that patients don’t feel like the process of booking a consultation is a lottery.”


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