Impact of increased GP waiting times on pharmacies

Pharmacy press

Official figures reveal that the number of patients waiting four weeks or more to see a GP increased across all regions of England last year. According to the analysis conducted by the Liberal Democrats, patients were forced to wait 28 days or longer to see a GP on 17.6 million occasions last year, marking a significant rise from 12.8 million in 2022.

Our Chief Executive Janet Morrison said:

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic, people have really struggled to access their GP, with the morning rush for appointments all too familiar. They have come to rely upon community pharmacies who stayed open and accessible for health information and advice. This is why the Primary Care Recovery Plan announced the investment in the Pharmacy First service for common ailments – with the goal of freeing up 10 -12 million GP appointments a year. We have already heard very positive feedback from patients about the care they’ve received and the relief of being able to access the help they need in one place. Of course, it’s vital that pharmacies have sustainable underlying funding to enable them to stay open and continue to provide much needed care to patients and communities.”

Further information

Findings from Community Pharmacy England (formerly PSNC)’s Pharmacy Advice Audit in 2022 indicated that:

  • As many as a quarter of a million people are visiting England’s community pharmacies every week because they are unable to access other parts of the NHS.
  • Almost half of patients reported that if they did not have easy access to a pharmacy, they would have visited their GP. As such, we can estimate that pharmacy advice will save an incredible 32.2 million GP appointments over the course of the year.

Capture healthcare advisory work not being covered by Pharmacy First to inform our negotiations with Government and NHS.

Click Here