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HomeHealthOne in six GP practices now only accepts online bookings

One in six GP practices now only accepts online bookings

  • NHS discriminates: online appointments.
  • Barriers limit in-person care.
  • Elderly face challenges, seek alternatives.

A study suggests that the NHS discriminates against elderly patients by requiring online appointments from one in every six general practitioner practices.

Campaigners warn that the NHS is “erecting barriers” that restrict the number of opportunities for individuals to see a family doctor in person, thereby depriving Britons of vital care.

Impact on Access and Alternatives

This forces individuals into private healthcare or overcrowded A&E departments, and those without internet access are hardest affected, according to the over-60s organisation Silver Voices.

Seventy-six percent of the 1,200 members surveyed by the organisation have encountered challenges in securing an in-person appointment with a general practitioner.

A total of 80% of patients reported being compelled to consent to a telephone consultation, while 71% reluctantly observed another practitioner staff member.

Eighteen percent have visited A&E after being unable to obtain an urgent GP appointment, while 31% have turned to private healthcare. The survey also indicates that 16% of practices have implemented an internet-only request process for GP appointments. This represents one in every six practices.

Varied Responses and NHS Initiatives

A mere 24 percent of medical practitioners continue to accommodate walk-in requests for appointments. According to the NHS GP contract, patients must have the ability to schedule an appointment through phone, online, or in-person means. However, according to the most recent data from the Office of National Statistics, one in ten respondents is unable to connect.

Dennis Reed, the director of Silver Voices, stated, “The family physician is evolving into an elusive species that requires patients to jump through numerous hoops before gaining an audience.”

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Consequently, it is unsurprising that a considerable proportion of elderly individuals are resorting to private healthcare facilities or emergency departments out of desperation.

As per the statement of an NHS spokesman, the organisation has also implemented a strategy to restore access to general practitioner (GP) services. This includes the modernization of telephone systems to facilitate communication with general practices and the addition of over 31,000 personnel to GP teams since 2019 to facilitate an even greater volume of appointments.

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