South East London GPs Stretched to Breaking Point, Patients Face Brief Appointments

Thousands of patients in South-East London are being rushed through GP appointments in less than five minutes, new research by the Liberal Democrats revealed on Tuesday.

The Southwark Liberal Democrats raised fears that many patients are not being seen for long enough by their doctor to be properly assessed.

Around 80,000 South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) appointments in April clocked in at under five minutes.

The new figures show that one in five GP appointments in South-East London in April lasted for under 5 minutes, while almost half lasted for under 10 minutes.

Out of the 394,574 GP appointments in South-East London that month, a staggering 81,280 were under 5 minutes long and 97,677 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, Cllr Maria Linforth-Hall, Southwark Liberal Democrat said:

“These figures expose how stretched GP services are, which can only mean our residents are not getting the time they deserve with doctors. The Conservatives promised to recruit more family doctors, but clearly still need to get a grip of this situation. In the meantime, we are seeing patients in South-East London being treated like goods on a factory conveyor belt. And, on top of that, the biggest problem is getting an appointment in the first place."