NHS GP appointments have surged, according to the latest weekly statistics.
At the end of August 3.9 million appointments were recorded for England in one week. In the first week of September this leapt to 5.2 million, Medscape reports.
GP practices faced a significant rise in demand, reflecting the return to school, increasing worries about Covid-19, and a backlog of new health concerns and routine care.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the NASGP, said: “This represents a 25% jump from the week before, in what’s likely to be an uptick in sustained patient demand as we head towards winter. In normal times, practices would have had the resilience and capacity to take this in their stride, but we are not talking of normal times.
“If practices haven’t already started doing so, now would be a good time to start planning their winter locum cover. This is not a task they want to be doing when their capacity has already been overwhelmed and their regular locum support has been deployed elsewhere.”