GP practices in Portsmouth offered patients almost 1.1 million appointments last year, with more appointments being offered with a GP than the year before.

According to the monthly NHS England ‘Appointments in General Practice’ data, 70,000 more appointments were offered to patients between January and December 2023 in comparison to the same period in 2022, and 20,000 more appointments were offered with a GP.

Dr Linda Collie, GP at East Shore Partnership and Clinical Director for Portsmouth at NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said:

“Practices have been working exceptionally hard over the last few years to improve access to healthcare services and ensure more people can be seen more quickly by the person that’s most appropriate for them.

“In some cases, this is a GP, and it’s encouraging to see that the number of GP appointments are increasing – but it might also be appropriate to see another member of our highly trained healthcare team too.”

Last year, 400,000 appointments with a GP were offered to patients. The other 700,000 were with another member of the practice team, such as Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Physician Associates, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists and more.

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing, Health and Care, said:

“It’s encouraging to see the number of total appointments increasing across the city, but we know there is more to do. We continue to support our practices through Health and Care Portsmouth and are always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the service for our residents. Each year, for example, we host our annual GP summit which brings together GP practices and other partners to discuss the challenges and opportunities within primary care.”

Recent initiatives to support patients in getting GP appointments include the implementation of call-back technology in all practices, to reduce long waits on the phone. Patients will be able to request a call back when they reach the front of the queue.

A series of videos and leaflets about getting a GP appointment have also been produced. See more at www.healthandcare.portsmouth.gov.uk/gppractices.