Two-thirds of UK patients wait between one and two weeks for GP appointment, Push Doctor study reveals

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Data from Push Doctor reveals two-thirds of patients in the UK wait between one and two weeks to see a doctor

Today, Europe’s largest digital health provider Push Doctor, reveals the biggest irritations for Brits when it comes to visiting the doctor. According to the research, late running appointments and impatient reception staff are just two reasons patients avoid the traditional GP surgeries of the past for as long as possible. In fact, almost half of respondents admitted to making an illness considerably worse by putting off that all-important GP assessment.

The study, polling 1,000 consumers in the UK, also reveals just how long Brits are forced to wait for an appointment with a doctor compared with their expectation on wait times. Despite exactly half of Brits expecting to be able to book and be seen by their own GP within three days, two-thirds of the UK admit to waiting on average between one-two weeks for an appointment, and over half (56%) cannot get a GP appointment within three days of making the initial phone call.

Push Doctor provides consumers with an alternative to waiting times and the ability to see a doctor within just six minutes via the app-based service available on iPhone, iPad, Android or PC. Customers of the service say “they will never go to the doctors again” because it is such a different experience.

How long would you wait?

When it comes to the waiting room, fewer than 1 in 10 Brits are seen within five minutes of arriving, whilst more than three-quarters (76%) are forced to wait in excess of 10 minutes. Perhaps even more shocking is exactly a third of patients wait in the reception area between 20 and 30 minutes before even seeing their doctor.

Additionally, 28% of patients say their experience of traditional GP surgeries leaves them exasperated due to late running appointments on the day that come with no warning. The five biggest frustrations when it comes to waiting for a doctor’s appointment are as follows:

Top five frustrations when it comes to waiting for a doctor’s appointment:

  1. Symptoms subsided by the time an appointment is given
  2. Appointments are usually running late
  3. Sitting in the reception area
  4. Having to take time off work due to surgery hours
  5. Rude reception staff

In addition, the research reveals the top five appointments Brits hate waiting around for. Evidently, Brits are not willing to hang around when it comes to their health, with two-thirds (66%) confessing they hate waiting to see the GP more than any other appointment. The dentist waiting room came in second place with just 29% of the vote. In fact, healthcare accounts for the vast majority of things Brits hate waiting for, according to 96% of respondents. The full top five irritations can be found below.

Top five appointments Brits hate waiting for:

  1. Doctor
  2. Dentist
  3. Taxi service
  4. Hairdressers
  5. Optician

Push Doctor Founder and CEO, Eren Ozagir, said:  

Traditional GP opening hours are a frustration for patients, often inconvenient for the full-time worker who struggles to get an appointment in good time. However this is not an easy problem to solve, as far as GPs are concerned there is a funding gap that needs to be addressed in order to deliver a service outside of normal working hours. The issue couldn’t be more fraught but there doesn’t seem to be a viable solution coming from either side to address the needs of patients now. A hybrid system which alleviates the pressure on the existing system and provides a more convenient service for those willing to contribute and pay a little more would benefit doctors, patients and the NHS.

Push Doctor can help today. Not only is the service convenient to time-poor patients, but it also frees up GP time by reducing administrative tasks and alleviating pressure on NHS GP services. Push Doctor believes quality healthcare is about making unwell people better, helping the public to invest in themselves and take an active interest in their own healthcare with the ultimate goal of enabling people to live happier, longer lives.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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