Around 47 per cent of UK consumers tried to book an appointment with an NHS GP in the last 6 months, 20 per cent of which were unsuccessful according to research by Simplyhealth.
Among those attempting to book an appointment, 40 per cent considered the reason for their appointment to be urgent, yet nearly half of those with ‘very urgent’ medical issues were unable to get a same-day appointment. While the urgency of the medical need had a significant impact on how long consumers had to wait for an appointment, 1 in 5 were unable to get an appointment at all, and another 1 in 5 had to wait a week or more later.
According to the study, one-quarter of over-55s who attempted to schedule an appointment were unable to do so at all. Telephone appointments were still the most popular way for consumers to consult with their doctors, with 51 per cent saying they did so. Only 40 per cent of patients saw their doctor in person, and only 6 per cent had video appointments.
Simplyhealth has seen a 114 per cent increase in customers making appointments through its 24/7 video GP service over the last year, as well as a 102 per cent increase in people downloading the video GP app (SimplyConsult). Simplyhealth offers an appointment with a GP to 99 per cent of customers within 3 hours.
Simplyhealth marketing director Chrissy Fice says: “At Simplyhealth we are dedicated to our purpose of improving access to healthcare, for our valued customers and communities across the UK. The TV ads bring to life on screen relatable health scenarios whilst highlighting Simplyhealth’s affordable health solutions. It’s not always easy or convenient to take a trip to a GP surgery, but with access to a 24/7 video GP, people can get peace of mind, temporary relief and the next steps to sorting those everyday health concerns, whenever and wherever they need it.”
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