LONDON, November 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Employees are risking their health by delaying or missing GP appointments, with nearly a fifth, some 3.3 million, failing to see a GP due to work, with a third admitting this had worsened their medical problems. These are the key findings of new YouGov research, commissioned by digital healthcare company Doctor Care Anywhere and backed by leading NHS figures who are urgently calling for a new approach to accessing primary healthcare.
With appointment times and access emerging as the biggest barriers to seeing a GP, Professor Robert Harris, Chief Executive of Lakeside Healthcare Group (the largest GP partnership in the NHS) and Dr James Kingsland OBE, President of the National Association of Primary Care, are calling for a new model to deliver primary care services, which is more flexible and easier to access.
- Risking their health - nearly a fifth or some 3.3million workers[i] have cancelled, missed or postponed an appointment due to work, 34% have made a health problem worse because of this.
- Biggest barriers to access - appointment access and times (59%)
- Key factors to break down barriers - access to appointments outside working hours (50%) and ability to book appointments 24 hours a day (49%)
- More flexible access needed - 87% said seeing a GP on the same day as booking an appointment was important and 31% said flexible access to appointments via phone/webcam would make it easier to see a GP.
Dr James Kingsland, said: "We do need to develop new models of care, which revolve around delivering the right care at the first contact with the right professional in the right context and setting whether in a GP surgery, at work or remotely."
Professor Robert Harris said: "As patient demand grows, unless we change the way patients access care, waiting times will surely also grow. Between 50% and 75% of our patients, depending on their condition, should be able to access care through a variety of alternative channels, including a broad-based digital offer. This would result in quicker and more affordable service provision."
Kate Newhouse, CEO of Doctor Care Anywhere, said: "This survey reveals that British employees are facing too many barriers in accessing primary healthcare, which is putting their health at risk."
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1010 middle managers and below in private businesses. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd - 5th October 2016. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of GB businesses by size (i.e. number of employees)
i. Figures from The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), there are 20,520,000 employees, so 16% of that would be 3,283,200 employees who have ever cancelled, missed or postponed an appointment due to work (calculated by Morgan Rossiter and agreed with YouGov)
SOURCE Doctor Care Anywhere