Eighty percent of patients believe GP services are much worse now than before the pandemic – and about half say they experience “major difficulties” in getting an appointment.
More than 4,000 have taken part in the Express & Star survey.
In total, 92% encountered difficulties in obtaining an appointment
Nearly seven in ten believe that no help is available when needed
Over 90 percent of people fear that GP services will worsen in the future.
Two-thirds also revealed that they had been forced to seek help elsewhere, such as NHS 111, A&E or a walk-in center, because their GP was not available.
Dr Mary McCarthy, of the British Medical Association in the West Midlands, said today the results were “incredibly concerning” and “reflected the fact that GP practices have entered this pandemic understaffed and under -financed “.
The Express & Star survey reflects nationwide concern about general medicine services and the difficulty of returning to some sort of normalcy after the easing of Covid measures.
A recent report found that less than 60% of GP appointments in England were made face-to-face in August. This compares to 80% in August 2019 – but also shows an increase from 52% in August of last year.
The proportion of telephone consultations also fell from 14% in August 2019 to 38% last month.
Health Secretary Savid Javid urged GPs to resume face-to-face appointments.
But Professor Martin Marshall, president of the Royal College of GPs, says it is unfair to criticize doctors facing “heavy workload”.
He said that “a lot of GP appointments are made every day and called for a ‘mixed approach’.