A third of Brits have difficulty accessing their GP – Local health reforms aren’t working, says expert

New official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) cast doubt on the effectiveness of the Government’s new community healthcare plans. They reveal that 30.9% of patients found it difficult or very difficult to access their GP surgery during January and February.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘Local medical services are always pushed hard in January and February, but one of the disappointing things to emerge from the latest figures is that changes in the way we access local healthcare are not having a notable impact.

‘The results also reveal that 8.5% of people trying to contact their GP failed to make contact entirely and 11.5% took two or more days before they succeeded. Of those, 12% were given appointments over two weeks after contact.

‘Disappointingly, only 4.5% of patients were able to book their GP or practice appointment through the NHS App. More disappointingly still, given the new wider role community pharmacies have been given in diagnosing and prescribing for certain conditions, only 2.6% of patients were recommended to go straight to their pharmacy.

Community Pharmacies can help

‘People need to know that community pharmacies can now speed up treatments and take the pressure off surgeries by directly prescribing medications for certain conditions. Your local pharmacy can now supply prescription-only treatment, if they believe it’s needed, for the following conditions:

• Sinusitis (for patients aged 12 years and over only)
• Sore throat (aged 5+)
• Earache (aged 1-17 years)
• Infected insect bite (aged 1 year+)
• Impetigo (aged 18 years+)
• Shingles (aged 18 years+)
• Urinary tract infections (women aged 16 to 64)

Private healthcare testing

‘For people concerned about easy access to healthcare, it’s also useful to know that revolutionary new blood tests introduced in the last few years mean people have swift access to a vast array of information about their own health through a simple finger-prick blood test.

‘For example, London Medical Laboratory’s General Health Profile blood test monitors seven key areas of health. It includes muscle and bone profile, liver & kidney function, risk of diabetes (by checking levels of HbA1c), cholesterol levels, iron levels and even the risk of gout. The test can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores.

For full details, see: https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/general-health

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4262 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.