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Three million callers fail to get through to GP every month, government research reveals

One in 10 people attempting to contact their GP practice do not manage to get in contact, while a further 6% are only told to try again another day, according to new official survey findings commissioned by the government.

The Office for National Statistics has been quietly carrying out the new regular GP access survey since the spring after ministers said they wanted to monitor the impact of their primary care recovery plan.

After a sign of slight improvement in the summer, the latest survey results – for October – show no significant change since May.

It also found, as did previous rounds, that of those who had tried to contact a GP practice in the past month, 10 per cent said they could not do so (see chart below, ‘Contact with GP practice’). Of those who did make contact, a further 6 per cent reported they were told to try again another day (see chart below, ‘Next step after contact’).

The government and NHS England have made it a high priority in recovery plans that patients should no longer be asked to call back another day to book an appointment and should know “on the day” how their request will be managed, which may mean being advised to use a different service.  

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 9 November 2023


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