If we ignore the “political football” aspect this article highlights some of the challenges relating to the delivery of GP appointments. We know this is an acute challenge in rural England where the stock of GPs is declining significantly and the pipeline is not running efficiently. It tells us:
The latest data from NHS Digital show that 2.45 million patients waited between 15 and 21 days in October to see a GP or other practice clinician, which was 8.3% of the total number of appointments, compared with 8% in October 2018.
Another 1.69 million waited between 22 and 28 days for a GP appointment while 1.66 million waited more than 28 days.
In both cases there was an increase in the percentage of patients affected compared to October last year.
The overall number of appointments increased to 30.8 million in October 2019 from 29.7 million in the same month the year before.