Want to know how bad your local GP surgery is faring amid England’s never-ending appointment crisis? MailOnline has crunched all the NHS data into fascinating interactive tools to let you see everything you need to know at once. App readers can use the three gadgets by clicking here.
It enables you to search any practice in the country and find out what percentage of appointments are held face-to-face, how many patients are seen the same day they called and how satisfied they are with their GP — as well as much more.
The data examined is from November, the latest fully comparable figures available.
During that month, national statistics showed the number of in-face consultations dipped back to 69 per cent.
Bath Road Surgery in Hounslow had the lowest percentage of appointments held face-to-face in November, at just 15.3 per cent. MailOnline did not include GP surgeries with more than 20 per cent of appointments being held in an ‘unknown’ method in its analysis or those which solely offer remote consultations
Ashburnham Road Surgery in Bedford came in second worst for face-to-face appointments at 15.5 per cent
Droylsden Road Family Practice in Manchester was one of the lowest rated GP surgeries in the country, according to the Patient Survey, with only 28 per cent ranking it as ‘good’
Whitehill Surgery in Aylesbury was another low ranker in the patient survey, also scoring 28 per cent
This was down slightly on the figure for October (71.3 per cent), which marked the highest proportion since the start of Covid.
Despite trending upwards in 2022, the proportion of consultations carried out face-to-face is still way below the 80 per cent levels seen pre-Covid.
According to NHS data, Bath Road Surgery in Hounslow had the lowest percentage of appointments held face-to-face in November at just 15.3 per cent.
This was followed by Ashburnham Road Surgery in Bedford which came second worst for face-to-face appointments at 15.5 per cent
MailOnline did not include surgeries with more than 20 per cent of appointments being held in an ‘unknown’ method, or those which solely offer remote consultations, in its analysis.
But in an annual poll, Droylsden Road Family Practice in Manchester left its patients among the most dissatisfied in the country.
Only 28 per cent of patients surveyed in a national NHS poll rated the GP surgery as ‘good’.
Whitehill Surgery in Aylesbury was another low ranker in the patient survey, also scoring 28 per cent.
Top GPs have stated the current balance of in-person and remote appointments is about right and that patients shouldn’t get a face-to-face appointment if there is no clinical need for one.
But campaign groups disagree, warning telephone or online calls aren’t appropriate for everyone and aren’t always the best way of diagnosing patients.
Britons are also suffering from the ‘8am scramble’ to get an GP appointment as people worried about health problems flood practice telephone lines in an attempt to contact their family doctor.
This map shows the 50 GP practices with the lowest proportion of face-to-face appointments according to official NHS data. MailOnline’s analysis excluded practices if the mode of appointment was unknown for more than 20 per cent of their consultations and if the GP service did not routinely offer regular face-to-face appointments, such as care home services. NHS Digital describes this data as ‘experimental’ meaning it may not capture the full picture and is more prone to reporting errors
Less than seven in 10 GP appointments in England (68.3 per cent) were held face-to-face in December. It marks the second month in a row that the figure has fallen after peaking at 71.3 per cent in October. Eight in 10 consultations were in-person pre-pandemic. But the figure has so far failed to bounce back
The latest NHS data on GP appointments for December showed the less than half of appointments were with a family doctor
Despite multiple health secretaries promising change, campaigners and patient advocates are worried not enough is being done to fix the crisis.
Some have even added that it seems ‘that certain practices don’t want to see patients’ and are worried that remote consultations are becoming the norm for some of Britain’s GPs, who earn an average of £110,000 a year.
Why Britons are struggling to get a GP appointment is complicated.
It has been partly caused by hundreds of surgeries shutting over the past decade, forcing millions of patients to switch to a different doctor.
NHS statistics show there were fewer than 6,500 practices open in England this year— down from 8,100 in 2013.
Practice closures put even more pressure on the family doctors that remain, as patients from those that shut their doors join ‘soulless’ mega-practices.
Many GP bodies now warn that family doctors are responsible for too many patients, with some parts of the country now having over 1,000 patients per doctor.
Official figures show GPs’ average pay spiked during the pandemic shooting up about £10,000 to almost £112,000 in the latest reporting period
There were just 27,558 full-time equivalent, fully-qualified GPs working in England last month, down 1.6 per cent on the 18,000 recorded in June 2021. It was down 5.3 per cent on the more than 29,000 working in June 2017
Experts have said this is both unsafe for patients — who are rushed through appointments by doctors with massive workloads — and also contributes to burnout among GPs.
Many family doctors are choosing to retire in their 50s, move abroad or leave to work in the private sector because of complaints about soaring demand, paperwork and aggressive media coverage.
At the same time, the population has also grown, exacerbating the patient list size ratio.
MailOnline’s data is compiled from several different NHS sources.
Not all GP practices submitted data to all of these different sources, meaning some aspects of their service are unknown.
Additionally, the data on face-to-face appointments is classified as experimental by the health service’s statistics body NHS Digital, meaning it could have errors which influence the data.
Data on patient experience was taken from the latest annual GP Patient Survey, an NHS-funded poll which collects information from two million Britons on their experience of primary care.
An NHS spokesperson said: ‘GP teams are working non-stop to get people the care they need, delivering millions more appointments compared to pre-pandemic, with more than seven in 10 patients seen within a week and the same number being treated in person.
‘The NHS has invested record amounts in primary care, and while 70 per cent of patients report a good experience at their practice, the NHS is determined to make it easier to get an appointment, which is why it has recruited over 21,000 more staff since 2019, improved practice telephone systems, and is committed to publishing a recovery plan early this year to further improve access to general practice services.’
Editor’s note MailOnline’s original tool was a compilation of data from three separate NHS sources, based on how the health service provides the data on appointments, workforce and patient responses. One field of data that related to the Woodlands Medical Practice in Sutton-on-Ashfield was found to be inaccurate, and instead based on another practice of the same name in London. We have been contacted by the practice who have asked us to make clear that all their satisfaction ratings were in the region of 80%+, which we are happy to do. Since publication we have replaced the original interactive database with three separate ones derived directly from the NHS in order to eradicate any other potential errors.