Are you struggling to book an appointment with your GP?

With NHS facing recruitment and retention related issues, will the public still struggle to book an appointment with their GP?

With lack of nurses and longer waiting time, people are having a hard time booking an appointment when it’s needed, thereby putting their health in danger.

According to the National Survey for Wales, it was difficult for 33% of those surveyed to schedule a convenient doctor’s visit. 

63% of women saw their GP, compared to 53% of males. 67% of GP appointments were face-to-face, 32% were over the phone, and 1% were by video call. 

People who had difficulty scheduling their most recent GP consultation were asked why. The most often cited cause was difficulty getting through on the phone.

Celyn Eldr, 23, student

“I was not able to meet my GP for about six months. They never had any kinds of slots or anything. I used to get seasonal nosebleeds sometime back. It took about two months for me to get an emergency appointment. I had to change my GP to get myself sorted. Allowing advanced booking, hiring more nurses and fair wage pay should help the situation.”

Tory Williams, 26, Cardiff Council employee

“You can’t make any appointments in advance, you can only make it on the same day. It’s quite difficult when you’re working full-time because it’s quite difficult to plan everything in advance. Also the wait time, to get through the phone, it takes forever. It’s very annoying.”

Rob, 34, Prison Officer

“Whenever you ring them up, all the appointments are gone and they say call back tomorrow, things like that are very annoying. Every time we don’t get an appointment, we wait it out which makes the problem worse and worse. All these events has solidified the idea that they’re useless.”

Paul Reeves, 55, shop owner

“I met with a road accident some time back, so I am usually in touch with my doctor. So I don’t really have to keep booking an appointment with GP. Besides waiting for a couple of weeks, everything has been going smoothly for me. I know people have, but I have been a lucky one. “

Allan Parkins, 67, shop owner

“Sometimes the GP receptionists aren’t that friendly, or try to delve into our problems and makes a judgement which they shouldn’t be doing. That is something doctors are for. You have to ring them up at eight in the morning, and by ten past eight, all the appointments are gone. So we have a very good GP, but the situation is not very good. “