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General Practitioners: Standards

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 152734, tabled on 12 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if will he introduce a maximum waiting time target for patients to receive a GP appointment.

Answered on

15 June 2018

The average waiting time for a general practitioner (GP) appointment is not collected or held centrally. In the 2017 GP patient survey 70.8% of respondents (who could remember whether or not they were able to get an appointment, and when they wanted the appointment) stated they saw or spoke to someone at a time they wanted to or sooner. NHS England is working with NHS Digital to consider ways of improving the availability and quality of GP data, including waiting times data.

The Department currently has no plans to introduce a maximum waiting time. However, efforts are being made to ensure everyone has easier and more convenient access to GP services, including appointments at evenings and weekends. The latest National Health Service planning guidance, published by NHS England in February 2018, confirmed that more than half the country is now benefitting from improved access, including access to pre-bookable and same day appointments on weekday evenings and at weekends, and these will be available across the whole country by October this year.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.