Great Britain

Patients are waiting longer than ever to see GP as half of doctors have gone part-time, watchdog claims


PATIENTS are waiting longer than ever to see a GP because half of doctors have gone part-time, a watchdog says.

More than a third have cut clinical work in the past year, says the General Medical Council.

It comes as NHS figures show one in three patients waited eight days or more for an appointment in October.

Those waiting three weeks or more shot up by 13 per cent.

PM Boris Johnson has pledged to increase GP numbers by 6,000.

But the GMC revealed that two in three doctors also aim to cut their hours in the next year.

Fewer than three in ten trainees intend to work full-time when they qualify.

GMC boss Charlie Massey said GPs were “no longer prepared to stick with traditional career paths to meet demand” and he warned that the shift looked to be permanent.

Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, said: “It is so worrying.

“We already have far too few GPs and long waits to see a doctor. We have GPs working one day a week, which is nice for them but just hopeless for their patients.”

The Patients Association warned poorly people would be put at greater risk if the availability of GPs “reduces further”.

The Royal College of GPs claimed a doctor’s workload was now so great many were cutting hours, or leaving the profession, to avoid “burnout”.

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