Demand for appointments surges as practice managers plan winter locum cover

28th September 2020 by NASGP

Demand for appointments surges as practice managers plan winter locum cover

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.”

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"NASGP came along way before people understood the need for sessional and small group practices to be valued by the system. On joining as a single-handed GP many years ago, I was welcomed into the team by initially wrote a few blogs for the organisation, which followed my understanding of yet another NHS reorganisation. It was only due to the vision and drive of Richard, your founder, that NASGP survived the large practice dominance. The inception of being a portal for the needs of GP locums was a masterstroke. Those who knew about it quickly realised the true meaning of networking. So here we are many years down the line and in footballing terminology NASGP now play in the Premier League.
"Well done to all as this is a just reward for the loyalty, dedication and hard work of your team. I have fond memories of working with NASGP and would urge every practice, large or small, to join this organisation, there are only gains and no losses."

Dr Tony Hall-Jones, retired GP

Dr Tony Hall-Jones, retired GP

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