A Pulse survey revealing that almost a third of GP practices have been forced to stop routine care in the past year due to overwhelming demand, has been picked up by the national press.

GP practices

The survey of 400 GP partners surveyed found that 30% have had to stop taking bookings for routine appointments at any point from June 2022 to June 2023. The GPs, from across the UK, said this was due to staff shortages and excess demand across general practice, while some said it resulted in abuse from patients.

The story has appeared across a number of different titles including Lorraine, The Times, The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Telegraph and the Evening Standard.

The number of appointments carried out in general practice in England increased from 25.9 million in June 2022 to 29.4 million in June 2023. This compares with 23.8 million in June 2019, before the Covid pandemic began.

Meanwhile, the number of permanent fully qualified GPs in England decreased from 26,859 in June 2022, to 26,521 in June 2023 – and this is way down on the 29,364 in September 2016.  

In July, another Pulse survey, revealing that GPs would consider taking collective action if funding is not significantly increased, was also picked up across the national press.