Recent GP consultations only last 5 minutes, new data finds

According to NHS data, millions of GP consultations were “rushed through” in less than five minutes last year.

One out of every six consultations – about 52 million between March 2022 and February 2023 – lasted only a few minutes.

Family doctors are so overworked that many patients do not get enough time to discuss their health.

“People are being left waiting weeks for an appointment only to be rushed through in a matter of minutes,” said Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper.

“Many patients require time to properly discuss their symptoms with a GP, particularly if they have complex health problems.”

According to NHS data, 17.2% of appointments at GP surgeries last year lasted between one and five minutes.

This amounted to 51,837,583 out of the total 300,976,093 appointments.

Dennis Reed, of seniors’ campaign group Silver Voices, said: “I think people feel they shouldn’t take up too much of the doctor’s time because they know they are busy.

“This means they might only focus on one symptom and forget about other things.

“A lot of older people do have multiple conditions but feel that they don’t want to be a bother.

In comparison, French and Canadian patients receive 15 minutes, while the average in Switzerland is 20 minutes and 25 minutes in Sweden.

According to the Royal College of GPs, the standard should be a quarter of an hour.

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