Stark figures show family doctors are cramming in up to 60 patients per day
GP appointment crisis exposed as figures show GPs cramming up to 60 patients a day
GPs are tucking in nearly 60 patients a day during an appointment crisis in some areas.
Alarming figures show that every GP in England saw an average of 8,534 patients last year after many delayed visits during the Covid pandemic.
A growing population and shrinking workforce have exacerbated the crisis, with patients waiting as long as four weeks for an appointment in some areas.
GPs in North East Lincolnshire saw an average of 58 patients per day or one every seven minutes based on a 37.5 hour five day work week.
This was more than double the average of 25 patients seen daily in Liverpool and the highest figure for the past four years in all of England’s 106 health districts.
The 10 worst affected areas in terms of the daily number of patients of the average GP
GPs in just over half of health districts saw more patients daily than the national average of 34 – or one every 13 minutes (file image)
It was followed by Thurrock, where GPs saw an average of 48 patients a day by 2022, and North East Essex, where the number was 46.
GPs in just over half of the health districts saw more patients daily than the national average of 34 – or one every 13 minutes.
The House of Commons Library figures, shared with the Mail by the Liberal Democrats, expose the crisis.
It comes amid a shortage of GPs, with ministers missing a 2019 vow to hire 6,000 more by 2024-2025 (file image)
They show that the total number of appointments rose to 313,084,783 last year, an increase of nearly 25 million from 288,273,685 in 2019.
That year, each GP in England saw an average of 8,351 patients.
It comes amid a shortage of GPs, with ministers missing a 2019 pledge to take on 6,000 more by 2024-2025.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said his party would take on a further 8,000 people so that ‘people are guaranteed to get an appointment within a week’. Figures also show that the number of patients per qualified GP has risen to the highest level ever.
There are now an average of 2,273 per GP, an increase of 15 percent in five years. In some areas, nearly 3,000 patients share a fully qualified GP.
Dr. Kieran Sharrock, chairman of the BMA Doctors’ Union’s GPs’ committee, said the figures are “further evidence of the pressure GPs are under” with rising patient numbers amid a “worrying shortage” of doctors.
Professor Kamila Hawthorne, president of the Royal College of GPs, said urgent action was needed ‘to reverse the shocking decline’ in services. She pleaded for more investments in IT and fewer forms to fill in for GPs.
A Ministry of Health spokesperson said there are “hundreds more doctors in general practice than last year” plus a record number in training.
There are also now ‘83,500 more appointments per working day’ than at this time last year.