This is how long GP patients are waiting for appointments in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell

GP surgery waiting times revealedGP surgery waiting times revealed
GP surgery waiting times revealed | PA Radar

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

The data also shows the proportion of face-to-face GP appointments being held locally

NHS Digital data has analysed the time it takes for GPs to see patients across Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country.

The data has been organised to show the GP appointment times for Birmingham and Solihull together and for the Black Country and West Birmingham.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This is to reflect the NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

What did the data show for Birmingham and Solihull?

The latest statistics show that patients faced shorter waits for appointments in September than before the pandemic.

Around 81% of 613,198 GP appointments held in September across the NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG area took place within eight days of being booked – up from 71%in September 2019.

At least 50% of consultations took place on the same day they were booked, compared to 43% two years before.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But a large number of these appointments - 47% - are being held remotely.

A total of 57% of these appointments took place face-to-face in September – down from 89% during the same month in 2019. This is a rise from 55% in August.

What did the data show for the Black Country and West Birmingham?

Black Country and West Birmingham GP patients also faced shorter waits for appointments in September than before the pandemic.

NHS Digital data shows around 79% of 677,866 GP appointments held in September across the NHS Black Country and West Birmingham CCG area took place within eight days of being booked – up from 70%in September 2019.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At least 46% of consultations took place on the same day they were booked, compared to 41% two years before.

More of these appointments took face-to-face than in Birmingham and Solihull with the total being 60%.

This is down from 88% during the same month in 2019, but a rise from 57% in August.

How do these local figures compare to the national picture?

It mirrors a national trend, which the Royal College of GPs said indicates remote consultations could be making GP services more accessible.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Across England, GP practices carried out 28 million appointments in September, around 5 million more than the month before.

The proportion of face-to-face appointments increased from 58% in August to 61% in September, though they were still well below pre-pandemic levels (82%).

What do patients representatives say about the findings?

The Patients Association said that over the last year, primary care had settled into a pattern of fewer face-to-face appointments, though some patients preferred phone consultations.

Rachel Power, chief executive, said: "Rather than primary care just falling into this way of working, we’d like the NHS to undertake an immediate programme of engagement with patients across the country to understand what patients’ priorities are.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The availability of GP appointments continues to prompt much debate and discussion.The availability of GP appointments continues to prompt much debate and discussion.
The availability of GP appointments continues to prompt much debate and discussion.

What do GPs say about the findings?

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said the “prevailing” narrative that remote care is sub-standard is concerning.

He said: “Good, safe and personalised care can be delivered remotely.

“We are seeing a move towards more remote care across the NHS, and many patients prefer it as it can be more convenient and fit around other commitments."

He added the data reflects how remote consultations have the potential to make GP services more accessible, with more patients seen on the same day nationally in September, compared to 2019.

A message from the editor:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.