Medical Director at NHS Gloucestershire, Dr Andy Seymour said:

“We would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts and commitment of GP practice teams across the county who are experiencing increased demand and are facing significant GP workforce pressures.

General practice in Gloucestershire has a strong track record in embracing new ways of working and offering the right kind of care and appointments, based on the nature of the patient’s symptoms, condition and needs.

Practices in the county now have clinical pharmacists, physiotherapists, mental health professionals, paramedics and other professionals working within or alongside practice teams – making a big contribution and supporting them to meet the individual needs of patients.

Whilst we recognise there is room for improvement and that it’s a significant priority for local people and communities, this year’s national GP patient survey showed that overall patient satisfaction rates in Gloucestershire are higher than the national average and the highest in England.

Patients with urgent clinical needs are currently seen on the same day or the next day.

Patients who do not need to be seen urgently are offered a routine appointment, usually within two weeks, but some patients may need to wait longer. Some of these waits may be clinically appropriate, depending on the appointment.

We know there is some variability across the county, and we will continue to do everything we can to work with practices to provide the best possible access to services, particularly around areas such as recruitment, appointments and booking systems.

Increased funding to support recruitment into practice teams and to build on the innovative solutions already in place would be welcome.

Finally, we fully endorse any additional measures that help our Emergency Departments to focus on life threatening conditions and serious injuries and acknowledge the key role of community pharmacy in advising and supporting people with minor ailments.”

Additional Information

All patients who contact their surgery, either on-line or by phone, are assessed to decide whether they need to be seen in person, via a phone or video consultation or if they would benefit from a visit to a community pharmacy.

Face to face (in person) consultations with clinicians in the GP practice team are available to those who need them and the proportion of appointments that are face to face in Gloucestershire is higher than the national average.