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Only 10% of patients take 40% of their GP appointments and visit their clinic 60 times a year


A major study finds that only 10% of patients take 40% of their GP appointments and visit their clinic 60 times a year.

  • The study says that about 40% of appointments are made by only one in ten patients
  • ‘Regular’ attendees visit GP surgeries to see doctors about 60 times a year
  • They are mainly elderly patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes










Research shows that family physicians drown out a small group of “regular attendees” who have five times more appointments than other patients.

A study of 1.7 billion GP consultations over the past two decades in the UK found that 40 per cent of all appointments are filled by only 10 per cent of patients.

These “regulars” attend the GP clinic about 60 times a year, five times more than other patients.

They are mainly elderly patients, especially women, who suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia or heart failure that require regular monitoring.

The University of Manchester research – which looked at 12.3 million patients over a 20-year period – found that the number of appointments for “frequent attendees” had doubled in the past 20 years.

This has added to the “unmanageable” workloads for family physicians, as well as reducing direct appointments to other patients, even before the pandemic.

The chart above shows the percentage of GP appointments with a doctor since February 2019. It reveals that the percentage is on the rise but still far from pre-COVID levels.

The main study looked at more than 1.7 billion GP consultations over the past two decades

The main study looked at more than 1.7 billion GP consultations over the past two decades

Author Professor Evan Kontopantlis said: “This is the first study to show that frequent attendance, the top 10 per cent of consultants, has significantly and progressively increased the workload in general practices across the UK over the past 20 years.

A relatively small number of patients accounts for a large proportion of the GP’s workload including face-to-face consultations.

Chief GP calls for shortening of Covid quarantine period

A senior GP last night backed calls to reduce the quarantine period for coronavirus cases from ten to seven days.

With Health Minister Sajid Javid saying he is looking seriously at easing the rules, Dr Rosemary Leonard claimed it was time to consider whether the extended quarantine period was “really necessary”.

She said she was very concerned about the “massive staffing shortage” now facing the health services because many have been forced into isolation.

Most of those who develop Omicron have mild illness and recover quickly, she added.

Ministers have asked their scientific advisors to advise on reducing this period, with a response expected within a week. Previous studies suggested that this could be done safely, if patients were required to have a negative test result before being released.

Dr Leonard said on the BBC’s Breakfast programme: “I’m very concerned. We’ve had two staff already – both of them were vaccinated twice and interestingly in fact, neither of them were sick. One of the cases was detected through the lateral flow test, She added: “She was so frustrated that she had to go home for ten days.

“We need to look at whether a ten-day isolation period is really necessary with more and more people getting sick… and whether they can come back early when they have a negative lateral flow test, or else we’re going to have a huge shortage of NHS staff and services.” Emergency.

High attendance appears to be the main driver of increased consultations which contributed to perceptions of increased workload in general practice.

“GPs should look at this group of patients closely to understand who they are and why they consult frequently.” The study, which looked at data from 845 GP surgeries, identified repeat attendees as those who visited your GP over 90% of all other patients in the same practice.

In 2018-2019, these held 43 percent of all appointments, compared to 38 percent in 2000-2001.

These “frequent attendees” now see their GP on average 21 times per year, and have 60 consultations per year in total when other practitioner staff, such as nurses who take blood pressure readings, are included. That’s about double the number of dates they had 20 years ago.

The study, published in the journal BMJ Open, said many patients had “broader social and psychological needs” that GPs cannot meet.

She added that the request from “frequent attendees” meant GPs had to reduce direct appointments to other patients even before the pandemic.

The Daily Mail is campaigning for more in-person appointments to tackle the crisis in GP care which means millions of Brits are struggling to get to their doctor.

Only 64 percent of appointments are now in person, compared to 80 percent before the pandemic.

Professor Martin Marshall, President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said: ‘In addition to having more patients for over 20 years, GPs and our teams are receiving more patients who live with multiple, long-term conditions, often requiring general practice. Care and services frequently.

As this research indicates, this increases the complexity of the workload in general practice, as well as the volume.

GPs know and understand their patients, and we are able to provide the care our patients with complex health conditions need because of the relationships we have built with them over time.

This is why it is so important to be able to maintain continuity of care in general practice for those who need it, but this involves being able to spend more time with patients – and while demand for appointments is high, staffing pressures in general practice prevail , being able to offer longer dates in general practice, means being able to offer fewer overall.

General practitioners and our teams work under severe resource and workforce pressures. These pressures existed before the pandemic, but the crisis has only exacerbated them.

The British Medical Association is currently threatening industry action over government plans to ensure more patients are seen in person.

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