Waltham Forest's GP services stretched to breaking point as patients face brief appointments

6 Jun 2022

Thousands of patients in Waltham Forest are being rushed through an appointment with their GP in less than 5 minutes, new research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Waltham Forest Liberal Democrats have blasted the “stark postcode lottery” facing people in North East London, with 96,017 GP appointments in April clocking in at under 5 minutes. The party has raised fears that many patients are not being seen for long enough by their doctor to be properly assessed. 

The new figures show that 21% of GP appointments in North East London in April lasted for under 5 minutes while 46% lasted for under 10 minutes.

Out of the 456,685 GP appointments in North East London that month, a staggering 96,017 were under 5 minutes long and 114,749 came in at under 10 minutes.

NHS figures show that across England as a whole, around one in five (22%) of the 16.6 million GP appointments in April lasted five minutes or less. Only half of all appointments across the country lasted longer than 10 minutes.

Commenting on GP services in Waltham Forest, local Liberal Democrat campaigner Josh Hadley said:

“These figures expose a stark postcode lottery as GP services are stretched to breaking point. People in Waltham Forest deserve better.

“The Conservatives promised to recruit more family doctors but they are nowhere to be seen in our area.

“Even once people manage to get an appointment, too often they are rushed through because doctors have to fit so many patients in.

"Doctors need to have time to properly assess their patients, especially those with conditions that are complex or getting worse whilst waiting for hospital treatment.

"Instead patients in Waltham Forest are being treated like goods on a factory conveyor belt. It is completely unsustainable and the Government needs to get a grip."

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