Thou­sands head to A&E if lo­cal GP not avail­able

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

TENS of thou­sands of peo­ple a year in Birm­ing­ham could be go­ing to hard­pressed ac­ci­dent and emer­gency depart­ments when their doc­tors’ surgery is closed.

That was the con­clu­sion of fresh anal­y­sis of the GP Pa­tient Sur­vey – an an­nual poll record­ing the views and ex­pe­ri­ences of more than a mil­lion peo­ple across Eng­land.

Some 74 per cent of re­spon­dents in the Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull area said they had, at some point in the pre­vi­ous 12 months, wanted to see their GP but ended up con­tact­ing another NHS ser­vice be­cause their prac­tice was closed.

Of those, 36 per cent said they had gone to A&E.

The fig­ures come with emer­gency depart­ments un­der record strain – and with doc­tors and politi­cians warn­ing peo­ple to cut out un­nec­es­sary vis­its to A&E.

A re­port com­mis­sioned by the Bri­tish Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion last year found 23 per cent of adult vis­its to A&E were un­nec­es­sary and that “low ca­pac­ity within al­ter­na­tive care ser­vices”, in­clud­ing gen­eral prac­tice, “contributes to the prob­lem”.

The GP Pa­tient Sur­vey, re­leased ear­lier this month and based on data gath­ered in Jan­uary to April, had 15,823 re­sponses from peo­ple in Birm­ing­ham and Soli­hull to the ques­tion: “In the past 12 months have you con­tacted an NHS ser­vice when you wanted to see a GP but your GP prac­tice was closed?”

Across Eng­land, the data sug­gests as many as 3.3 mil­lion peo­ple ended up at A&E when they wanted to see a GP but could not.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.