The findings of the research have been criticised by the Liberal Democrats who commissioned the survey and called the results a “national scandal”. According to the party, the research shows the consequences of “mismanagement and neglect” of local health services by the Government.
The survey conducted by Savanta ComRes found that over 25 percent of adults have failed to get an in-person GP consultation in their local area in the last 12 months.
Following the struggle to get an appointment, a number delayed seeing a doctor and some gave up and didn’t seek medical help.
According to the survey, approximately 16 percent of those who were unable to get an appointment turned to self-medication by administering treatment themselves or asking someone who was not medically qualified.
This shocking finding has been slammed as a “national scandal” as a result of “mismanagement and neglect” of local health services by the Tories.
The survey included over 2,000 adults which found 72 percent had attempted to get face-to-face GP appointments in the past year.
Of this 72 percent, 43 percent were successful, and 29 percent were unable to have an appointment.
Despite being in pain with their medical issue, of those who were unsuccessful, 32 percent delayed seeing the GP and 31 percent gave up trying to get an appointment.
Approximately 19 percent ended up going to A&E and 24 percent went to a pharmacy or bought medication online without medical advice.
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said: “This is a national scandal. Face-to-face GP appointments have become almost extinct in some areas of the country.
“We now have the devastating situation where people are left treating themselves or even self-prescribing medication because they can’t see their local GP.
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The Department of Health and Social Care stated that compared with September 2019, there were almost 2,300 more full-time equivalent doctors in general practice in September 2022, with record numbers in training.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care responded: “We recognise the pressures GPs are under and are working to increase access for patients.
“This year GP teams have delivered 80,000 more appointments every working fay compared to last year, and we plan to deliver over a million more appointments this winter by bolstering general practice teams with other professionals.
“Guidance is clear that GP practices must provide face-to-face appointments, alongside remote consultations – and over two thirds of appointments in November were face to face.”