RCGP predicts one-week wait for 100m GP appointments by 2020

Patients will have to wait more than a week to see their GP on more than 100m occasions by 2020, the RCGP has warned.

New analysis by the college revealed that if current trends continue, the number of delays of more than seven days for an appointment will will increase from just over 69m in 2015/16 to 98m in 2020/21.

The college said that by 2020/21 waiting times will be so bad that patients will be unable to get an appointment at all on 52m occasions.

On more than 9m occasions last year, patients unable to get a GP appointment did not seek healthcare elsewhere.

The analysis showed the ‘grave risk’ to the health of thousands of patients, the RCGP said.

The college called on the government to urgently follow through on promises made in NHS England’s GP Forward View in April. Last week the RCGP revealed that hundreds of GPs and patients had written to their MPs demanding the implementation of the funding programme.

GP Forward View

RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker called the research findings ‘shocking’ and a ‘clear risk to the health of thousands of patients’.

‘All the evidence shows that general practice is in crisis, and that crisis is worsening,' she said.

‘However, having recognised the scale of the meltdown, the government, under David Cameron, announced plans to save general practice and help pay for a service that could consistently meet the needs of our patients.

‘We now need a guarantee from the new prime minister, the new chancellor and the health secretary that the NHS England GP Forward View will be delivered in full. This is an especially pressing issue given that so many voters in the EU referendum were swayed in their opinion by concerns about the NHS and particularly by worsening GP waiting times.’

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