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Over 31 million people received GP appointments in November 2023, new data reveals

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More than 34,000 additional staff have been recruited into healthcare roles in general practices across England since 2019

New data published by NHS England on Thursday (4 January) showed that more than 31.4 million GP appointments (excluding vaccinations) were delivered in November 2023.

This is four million more than the number recorded in the same month before the pandemic, and is considered the busiest November on record for GP teams.

Compared to the previous month (October 2023), 3.3 per cent more appointments were booked and attended on the same day in November.

Almost seven in ten patients attended their appointments within seven days of booking, an increase of 4.5 per cent from the previous month.

Further, the data showed that almost seven in ten GP appointments were delivered face-to-face in November.

Dr Amanda Doyle, NHS England National Director for Primary Care and Community Services, said more than 34,000 additional staff have been recruited into healthcare roles in general practices across England since 2019 to deliver even more appointments.

As part of the NHS primary care access recovery plan published last year, telephone systems are being upgraded to improve access to GP services.

According to NHSE, eight in ten GP practices have already upgraded their telephone systems to make it easier for patients to contact them, and the remaining practices are set to make the move by March.

“This is incredible progress from hardworking teams across the country and we are determined to make it easier to access services around people’s busy lives, so if you are concerned about your health please come forward for care,” Dr Amanda added.

In another effort to boost access to general practice, the NHS has introduced Pharmacy First service, which allow patients to access care for common conditions from high street pharmacies.

The move is expected to free up to 10 million GP appointments a year by next winter, while giving the public more choice in where and how they access care.

 

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