Comments by the shadow health secretary that securing a GP appointment is as difficult as obtaining sought after concert tickets will come as no surprise to young and old alike, many of whom have found it increasingly difficult to get an appointment. Saga’s director of communications Paul Green has commented.
“So many people depend on a friendly GP as their first point of contact with the health service when they feel unwell, but if an appointment’s not available, their health and peace of mind can suffer.”
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Mr Reed added: “It’s worrying that many conditions could be missed if patients don’t get an appointment when they need it, and an early diagnosis in many cases can be all important to their treatment and recovery.
“Saga’s research amongst 11,000 over 50s earlier this year shows that the over 50s found it twice as hard now to book a GP appointment, compared to five years ago. One in five even told us that they have to wait more than a week to see their GP. However, for those still in work or with conditions that they feel might be serious, this could result in them either waiting longer than is acceptable to see their GP, or worse still putting the appointment off altogether.
“GPs are constantly being asked to do more for less, and it is clear that we face an unprecedented crisis in our NHS and Social Care systems. However highlighting the issue has been done time and again, people now need to see the detail and reassurance about how our frontline health services will be improved.”