September 21, 2021

Despite the end of the lockdown laws, doctors are still seeing half of their patients in person.

The new figures show that doctors are still seeing half of their patients in person.

Despite lockdown laws ending in August, many face-to-face meetings have not returned to England.

Despite the end of the lockdown laws, many face-to-face meetings in England did not return.

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Despite the end of the lockdown laws, many face-to-face meetings in England did not return.Credit: Getty

In July, only 57% of GP appointments in England – or 14.6 million – were in surgery. Another 10 million, or 39 percent, were on the phone, with 900,000 home visits and video calls.

Before the epidemic, eight out of ten meetings were held in person at the clinic, and critics warned that patients would suffer if they were not brought back.

Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “This could mean a missing diagnosis of a serious illness. It is important that ministers present an NHS rescue plan with resources and staff to ensure that everyone who comes face to face The front GP wants an appointment and can get it.

Statistics show postcode lottery for patients. Castle Point and Rochford Health Board consulted 73% face to face in Essex, followed by 72% in North Tyneside.

But in Mercy Side, South Sefton overcame only 45 per cent, while clinics in Salford and Southeast London rose to 47 per cent.

“The epidemic is not over and there is still a need for precautionary measures and infection control measures,” said Martin Marshall, chair professor of the Royal College of GPs.

The health department said: “Appointment numbers have returned to pre-epidemic levels, with GPs making more than 330 million appointments last year.”

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