A quarter of GP appointments taken by nurses, reveals poll

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24th July 2019 16:09 - Health

A quarter of GP appointments taken by nurses: A survey by NHS England ahead of plans to review general practice across England has found nurses take one in four GP appointments (25%) - up from 24% last year. 

The latest poll of GP patients in England found that most people who booked appointments saw a GP (70%), a quarter were seen by a nurse and the remainder saw either another type of healthcare professional (3%) or pharmacist (1%). 

The survey also highlighted the difficulty patients are having in getting through to the surgery to book appointments, with almost a third (32%) saying it was 'not an easy' process. This was up two percentage points on 2018's survey when it was 31%.  

In terms of other ways to book appointments, more people are now aware they can do so online - increasing online appointments booked from 41% in 2018 to 44% this year. Indeed, the number  of appointments booked online in the last year has risen from 13% to 15%. 

Asking patients about their overall  experience when using their GP surgery, 83% rated it as 'good' a slight drop from last year when it was 84%. 

Dr Nikita Kanani, the acting director of primary care for NHS England who will chair the review of general practice in England 

“Increasingly, patients will see their general practices bolstered by teams of health professionals such as social prescribers, pharmacists and therapists, as well as clinical nurses, physician associates and community paramedics, who will give them the specialist care they need, while freeing up family doctors to care for the sickest people.”

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