Patients waiting up to three weeks for GP appointments, survey finds

Patients in Lincolnshire can wait up to three weeks — if not longer — for a routine GP appointment, a survey has found.

The study published this week by Healthwatch Lincolnshire was based on a survey of over 1,000 patients.

Key findings include:

  • 33% of patients have used an alternative service when they could not get a GP appointment, with A&E among the most popular
  • 25% of people say that a delay in getting an appointment has had an impact on them, with anxiety being the most reported
  • 92% of patients would be happy to see another health professional if it meant getting an appointment sooner
  • 35% of patients choose to see a specific GP. 58% of them felt that seeing a specific GP had an impact on their waiting times

Lincoln’s Walk-In-Centre, which was closed earlier this year, was also mentioned by the report. 75% of the people who used the service (22,000) are registered with a local GP.

The closure is expected to cause problems for other local services and Lincoln MP Karen Lee has expressed concern this week that not enough is being done to relieve the strain.

That strain can already be seen in Lincoln’s A&E. Police officer Clare Brown told The Lincolnite that she was left on a stretcher for over four hours before being sent home because ‘she wasn’t dying’.

County Council leader Martin Hill also wrote about his disappointment with the current state of the Lincolnshire NHS. He told Lincolnshire Reporter that “changes within the NHS that are needed to deliver safe, good quality services on budget, have not been forthcoming.”