New GP Services Can Take Pressure Off The NHS

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By Dan Faber in The Huffington Post.

Seeing a doctor isn’t what it used to be. Gone are the days when you could phone a doctor’s surgery and be confident of getting an appointment that day – or even within the week – with the same doctor who had been seeing you and the rest of your family for years.

It’s no secret that pressure on the NHS is greater than ever. Funding is under threat while the number of patients increases regardless, and many doctors who choose to stay in the service are severely overstretched. With patients allocated just 8-10 minutes per appointment, doctors become stressed out and struggle to deliver the level of care they would like to. Yet despite these stringent appointment rules, the extent to which demand outstrips capacity is alarming: according to the 2016 GP Patient Survey, 11% of patients were unable to get an appointment at all, and 38% got an appointment a week or more later but wanted to be seen sooner, which may explain why so many people turn up at A&E hoping to be treated there instead.

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