Unprecedented Demand

The NHS is currently experiencing some of the most severe pressures in its 70-year history.

GP surgeries across the country are experiencing significant and growing strain with declining GP numbers, rising demand, struggles to recruit and retain staff and knock-on effects for patients.

In addition, GP practices have been at the forefront of the NHS’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak, delivering vaccine appointments whilst maintaining non-COVID care for patients throughout. Much work from hospitals, who are also overwhelmed by demand and underfunding, has been picked up by primary care with GPs having to deal with patients on staggeringly long hospital waiting lists.

(Stats based on official figures for Nov 2021).
The number of standard appointments in general practice has noticeably risen since last month by 4.7 million to 28.6 million.
That’s the equivalent of 43% of the entire population of the UK consulting in just one month!

Excluding the COVID vaccination appointments, that’s 2.3 million more than September 2019, and 2.8 million more including them.

The number of F2F (face-to-face) appointments has increased from 13.7 million to 17.3 million (a 26% increase). F2F appointments now make up close to two thirds (60.8%) of the total. As a percentage of overall appointments:

There were 319,344,626 repeat prescriptions in general practice in the year between November 2020 and October 2021. October 2021 saw 1,088,438 more repeat prescriptions than October 2020.

That’s a yearly average of 48,599, or around 935 per week, per practice.

The average number of weekly prescriptions in October 2021 was up by 272,109 (4.5%) compared to October 2020.