Patients in Doncaster forced to wait nearly 11 days on average to see their GP
Those looking to book a GP appointment in Doncaster are typically forced to wait 10.8 days before seeing their GP, while the national average sits at one week (seven days), a study reveals.
The research, which analysed NHS Digital data on waiting times alongside a national survey of UK adults who have tried to see their GP in the last six months, found that 22 per cent of those living in Doncaster had to contact their medical practice several times before they could book an appointment, as there weren’t any bookable slots left or they couldn’t get through to reception staff.
Across the UK, the majority of patients (68 per cent) found waiting times are up to twice as long for GP appointments than before the pandemic
The study by medical negligence experts Boyes Turner Claims on average, it took them 3.5 days to get booked in, and then there was an average additional wait of 7.3 days before the appointment took place.
Richard Money-Kyrle, of Boyes Turner said: “The impact of the pandemic on health services has been all-encompassing.
“The NHS has been responding to unimaginable pressure since the initial coronavirus outbreak, and our research indicates that the impact on patients is continuing, especially when it comes to securing a speedy appointment with a medical professional.
“It is concerning that so many patients are resorting to self-diagnosis, visiting A&E and even alternative therapies simply because they cannot discuss their ailments with a trained medical professional in a suitable timeframe.
“We would urge the public to persevere with booking an appointment with their GP when needed and to seek advice from 111 or pharmacists if more urgent.”
Some have been seen on the same day (12 per cent), but a worrying number have waited more than a month in total (14 per cent). Many (24 per cent) said they’re still waiting to get an appointment.
Across the nation, on average, people said they’ve have had to wait at least one week (7 days) to secure an appointment, but one in ten (10 per cent) had waited 15 days or more.
For coronavirus-related illnesses, people have waited 16 days on average from first making contact to having their appointment.
Alarmingly, those who deemed their need as being ‘very urgent’ waited an average of 7.4 days, while those who stated their need for an appointment as only ‘quite urgent’ had a delay of 5.6 days.
The majority of people included in the study (68 per cent) felt waiting times were up to twice as long for GP appointments than before the COVID-19 pandemic, and since the start of the pandemic, one in every 25 people (4 per cent) has been required to wait more than four weeks for a confirmed appointment.
These delays have seen patients look to other means to see a medical professional, or even try and deal with their ailments themselves.
In Doncaster, 21 per cent had called 111, 3 per cent had called 999, 24 per cent had self-medicated and 14 per cent had ignored the problem altogether.
Nationally, one in twenty (5 per cent) had resorted to attending A&E because they were unable to secure a GP appointment, while over a quarter (27 per cent) decided to search for an answer to their issue online.