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General Practitioners: Standards

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 286633, tabled on 4 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the average waiting time for an appointment to see a GP in (a) England and Wales and (b) Coventry.

Answered on

9 September 2019

The most recent data on the time between booking an appointment with a general practice and having the appointment (in days) for Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as well as for England are presented in the following table as the average over the 12 months from August 2018 to July 2019.

The data is taken from the NHS Digital publication ‘Appointments in General Practice’. This is a new experimental data collection which is still being refined and improved.

It should be noted that the ‘time from booking to appointment’ refers only to the time elapsed between the successful booking of an appointment and the appointment actually taking place. The data does not take into consideration that many patients will be appropriately booking ahead as part of the continuity of care they receive for long-term conditions.

Coventry and Rugby CCG


Distribution of average time elapsed between booking an appointment and the appointment taking place, August 2018 to July 2019

Same Day



1 Day



2 to 7 Days



8 to 14 Days



15 to 21 Days



22 or more







  1. There are several factors that drive the time from a booking to an appointment. This includes appointment availability at the practice, patient availability, the urgency of the appointment and general practitioner (GP) advice.
  2. The data does not differentiate between emergency and routine appointments in general practice.
  3. The data does not include any information about the patients or clinical information.
  4. The data in the response includes appointments with all healthcare professional types, including GPs and other practice staff.
  5. Not all practices in England are included in the appointments in general practice publication, meaning the total number of appointments is not known.
  6. Same day and next day bookings are of particular interest so are presented here separately. Further bookings are presented grouped by weeks.
  7. The number of appointments that have already happened is provided as recorded in participating practices in England. The data presented only contains information which was captured on the GP practice systems. This limits the activity reported on and does not represent all work happening within a primary care setting.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care
Named day
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