General practice teams in Kent and Medway have carried out over 843,000 appointments in September, according to the latest national NHS data released yesterday (28 October).
Appointments in practices reached 478,897 and together with 8,730 home visits meant 58% of all appointments were face-to-face . A further 344,398 telephone, 3,605 video appointments also took place.*
The role of the wider teams working alongside GPs was also clear in the statistics as 373,179 of all appointments were with other clinically trained staff, for example practice nurses, advanced nurse practitioners and pharmacists.
Dr Navin Kumta, Clinical Chair of Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "These latest figures continue to demonstrate how hard general practice teams are working. It's good to see the number of face-to-face appoinments is rising but it's also important to remember how convenient many people find telephone appointments."
The number of missed appointments remains high, with over 42,500 appointment slots across all types of consultations being recorded as patient did not attend. These slots are incredibly precious during this time of high demand. We would ask anyone who no longer needs their appointment to make every effort to cancel in advance. In many practices you can cancel appointments by text or online, so there’s no need to phone.
Dr Kumta, added: “We do understand that the current pressures raise frustration levels, but we would also make a plea for everyone to recognise that general practice teams are working hard both to see patients and make improvements to ease the pressures."
Whilst face coverings are not mandatory, the NHS is still asking people coming into surgeries and other health sites to wear them. The Coivd-19 virus is still circulating and testing results show significant numbers of people are infected. Other people coming into practices may be more vulnerable to the virus than you, so we ask everyone to use a face covering unless you are genuinely medically exempt.
Find out how Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group is working with general practice to improve access to meet the increased demand here.
* 7,523 appointments where the type was not formally recorded are also captured in the September figures, making the total 843,153 plus 42,592 recorded as 'did not attends'.