Nearly 140,000 more GP appointments a month are being delivered for south west London patients compared to the same month before the pandemic as part of the NHS primary care access recovery plan.
Newly published NHS data shows more than 750,000 appointments (excluding vaccinations) were delivered by south west London GP practices in November 2023, making it the busiest November on record for GP teams.
GP teams are carrying out record numbers of appointments for patients with the latest statistics showing around 140,000 more were delivered in November 2023 compared to the same period before the pandemic – making it the busiest November on record.Local GP Dr Nicola Jones
There are also record numbers of people working in primary care – the NHS in south west London is on track to recruit 845 additional staff into healthcare roles in general practices by March 2024, with the number recruited since 2019 currently standing at 819.
In addition, the NHS has trained 99 staff so far in 2023/24 in south west London to better assess patients’ needs when they first contact their practice so they can be seen by the right health professional in their GP practice, with more staff due to be trained in the coming months.
Primary care lead for the NHS in south west London, Dr Nicola Jones, said: “GP teams are carrying out record numbers of appointments for patients with the latest statistics showing around 140,000 more were delivered in November 2023 compared to the same period before the pandemic – making it the busiest November on record.
“The NHS published a plan last year to improve access to GP services, which includes modernising telephone systems to make it easier for people to contact their general practice, while 819 additional staff have joined GP teams since 2019 to deliver even more appointments and provide a wider range of skills and services in our practices.
“This is incredible progress from our hardworking teams and we are determined to ensure people can get access to the care they need, so if you are concerned about your health please come forward for care.”
The NHS set out a range of measures in May last year to boost access to general practice for patients, including more ways to access care for common conditions from high street pharmacies.
The action is expected to free up to 240,000 GP appointments a year in south west London by next winter and, with the vast majority of people in the region living within a 20-minute walk of a pharmacy, the move will give the public more choice in where and how they access care.
As part of the ambitious blueprint, investment in better phone technology for GP teams has meant that six in 10 GP practices have already modernised their telephone systems to make it easier for patients to contact them, with the remaining practices signed up to make the move by this March.