The number of people who have missed a GP appointment has reached a year-long high, statistics revealed today as plans to fine those guilty £10 were renewed.
According to official NHS data, nearly 1.4 million GP appointments were missed in September this year.
It is the highest monthly toll since November last year (1.43 million).
It comes after it emerged that Rishi Sunak is sticking to his plan to fine those who miss a doctor’s appointment £10.
Had the controversial measure come into effect in 2022, the government could have raised more than £100 million.
According to official NHS data, nearly 1.4 million GP appointments were missed in September this year. It is the highest monthly toll since November last year (1.43 million)
It comes after it emerged that Rishi Sunak is sticking to his plan to fine those who miss a doctor’s appointment a £10 fine. Had the controversial measure been in place in 2022, the government could have raised more than £100m
The prime minister “stands by the sentiment” of the pledge he made during the summer’s Tory leadership contest, it was alleged.
He is ‘absolutely committed to ensuring we get the best value for the taxpayer, the best value for money out of the NHS’, the Daily Telegram reports a spokesperson.
However, Mr Sunak must first discuss it with the newly appointed Health Minister, Steve Barclay, before a commitment can be confirmed.
When he first brought up the plan, Mr Sunak acknowledged it was controversial but said it was necessary to avoid wasting doctors’ time.
He suggested it be introduced until the growing backlog of the NHS due to the pandemic was “reduced to manageable levels”.
Under the plan, people would be fined from the second appointment they miss, with the patient “given the benefit of the doubt” the first time they miss one.
It comes as the share of personal GP appointments reached 68.1 per cent in September, the highest since the start of the pandemic, NHS Digital data revealed.
NHS staff vote TODAY on strike action
Hundreds of thousands of health workers will vote today on whether or not to suspend wages as a winter of discontent looms over Britain – with railways, postal services, food production and travel all hit by industrial action.
About 350,000 Unison members who work for more than 250 health funds and boards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be voted on Thursday.
Porters, nurses, security guards, paramedics, cleaners, midwives, occupational therapists and other NHS staff, among others, are being asked to organize walk-outs. About 50,000 Unison health workers in Scotland are already being voted on.
Other unions, including the Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwives, have also voted their members out, raising the prospect of NHS nurses walking out across the UK for the first time.
It comes as some 3,500 border guards, immigration and visa officials threaten to go on strike over the holiday season – potentially leading to hours of queues at airports and ports, while millions will travel abroad to see family and friends.
Meanwhile, more than 115,000 postmen went on strike on Tuesday, while a calendar of further rail chaos is planned for this month.
And the PCS union, which represents more than 150,000 officials, including additional border police and immigration officials, will hold a separate vote on union action on Nov. 7.
Unison urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to increase the £1,400 raise awarded to health workers in England earlier this summer.
Annually, more than 15 million appointments are not attended by patients in general practices.
Half of these work for busy GPs, meaning 1.2 million hours of their time is lost every year.
The annual cost of missed appointments is £216 million, enough to pay the annual salaries of 2,325 full-time GPs, according to the now prime minister’s campaign.
It’s because the share of personal GP appointments reached 68.1 percent in September, the highest since the start of the pandemic, NHS Digital data revealed.
More than 19 million GP appointments were made for the month, a figure that remained between 15 and 17 million for most of this year, with GPs making more phone appointments, according to the data.
In the summer, the British Medical Association, the union that represents doctors, condemned the plan to fine people £10 for missing an appointment.
After publishing today’s numbers, Dr. Farah Jameel, chair of the BMA’s General Practitioner Committee, said that they “strongly encourage patients to do their best to attend their GP appointments”, especially given the “massive shortage of GPs trying to care for ever-increasing patient numbers”.
However, he said: “However, there are many reasons why a person might not be able to attend their appointment. administrative burden and lead to increased anxiety in many patients.
‘Fining patients is also likely to discourage them from rebooking, exacerbating already worsening health inequalities and ultimately costing the NHS more.
“Charging for missed GP and hospital appointments would not only undermine the essential trust between doctor and patient, but also threaten the fundamental NHS principle of providing care for free when it is needed.”
Professor Martin Marshall, President of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘It is always frustrating to hear about missed GP appointments, especially at a time when we don’t have nearly enough GPs to meet the increasing need for our services, as these could have been used. for other patients.
‘But charging agreements is not the solution.
“It would fundamentally change the principle that the NHS is free in the moment of need and would probably affect the most vulnerable patients the most – and it would add an extra layer of bureaucracy to a GP service that is already drowning in bureaucracy.”
dr. Ursula Montgomery, NHS England Director of Primary Care said: ‘Thanks to the relentless efforts of GP-led teams, tens of millions of people are being seen by local doctors across the country, while the bulk of in-person appointments have taken place. last month since before the pandemic.
“GP teams also delivered more than 858,000 Covid-19 vaccinations last month as the fall booster rollout began, and those eligible for a fall booster or flu shot must continue to apply to be protected before winter.”