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Lockdown patients ‘put off’ GP visits after warnings about restricted care

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GPs’ warnings about restricted services may have put patients off seeking treatment, delaying diagnoses and worsening existing illnesses, the health and care watchdog has said.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that millions of people had struggled to see their doctors during the pandemic, which had magnified inequalities and risked “turning fault lines into chasms”.

Between March and August 119.5 million GP appointments were made in England, down from 146.2 million last year, according to NHS Digital.

Ian Trenholm, the CQC’s chief executive, said: “The number of lost GP appointments translates into millions of people potentially . . . not getting conditions diagnosed early enough, not getting those referrals on for diagnoses like cancer and other conditions.”

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Source: The Times, 16 October 2020

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