New research using NHS data and a national survey have revealed that people in Yorkshire wait an average of eleven days for a doctor’s appointment.

Medical negligence experts Boyes Turner Claims analysed NHS Digital data alongside a national survey of UK adults to find out how long people have been waiting for a doctor's appointment over the past 6 months.

The research found that nearly half of patients (48%) couldn’t book an appointment the first time they got in touch with their GP, as there weren’t any bookable slots left or they couldn’t get through to reception staff and people in London have the longest wait to be seen.

Richard Money-Kyrle, Partner of the Medical Negligence team at Boyes Turner said:  “While the UK’s response to the pandemic has reduced the need for GPs to be on hand to deal with most coronavirus cases, with public information campaigns on symptoms widespread and home testing readily available, the impact of the pandemic on health services has been all-encompassing. 

“The NHS has been responding to unimaginable pressure since the initial coronavirus outbreak, however, our research does seem to indicate that the impact on patients is continuing, especially when it comes to securing a speedy appointment with a medical professional. 

“It is concerning that so many patients are resorting to self-diagnosis, visiting A&E, and even alternative therapies simply because they cannot discuss their ailments with a trained medical professional in a suitable timeframe. “ 

One in twenty (5%) stated that they had resorted to attending A&E because they were unable to secure a GP appointment, while over a quarter (27%) decided to search for an answer to their issue online. 

The data was collected in July 2021 and 1,002 UK adults who have tried to book a GP appointment in the last six months responded.

The research suggests that people in East of England are seen by their GP the quickest, whereas London is the slowest, averaging a wait of thirteen days from the initial inquiry. 

On average, people said they have had to wait at least one week (7 days) to secure an appointment, but one in ten (10%) had waited 15 days or more. 

For coronavirus-related illnesses, people waited 16 days on average from first making contact to having the app.

 Further information about the findings can be found on the Boyes Turner blog.