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Swindon one of the easiest areas to get a GP appointment

Swindon and Wiltshire is one of the easiest areas to get a doctor's appointment, new data reveals. <i>(Image: Getty Images)</i>
Swindon and Wiltshire is one of the easiest areas to get a doctor's appointment, new data reveals. (Image: Getty Images)

It is easier to get a GP appointment in Swindon and Wiltshire than in most other areas of the country.

New research from healthcare management consultancy Acumentice looked at the percentage of patients per integrated care board (ICB) who said they were offered an appointment after calling their local GP in the latest patient survey.

According to that study, the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB placed eighth in the easiest places to see your GP, with 63 per cent of patients surveyed being offered an appointment when they called up.

In Swindon specifically, 69 per cent of patients visiting one GP were offered a choice of appointment when they last tried to make a general practice appointment, and 80 per cent described their overall experience of this practice as good.

Overall, the research found Devon to be the easiest region to acquire an appointment, with a total of 9,265 patients advising they were offered a type of appointment with a place (for an appointment in person), a time or day, or a choice of a healthcare professional.

The research found Bedfordshire, Luton, and Milton Keynes to be the most challenging region to acquire an appointment, with a total of 4,751 patients advising they were not offered a type of appointment with a place (for an appointment in person), a time or day, or a choice of a healthcare professional.

Accumentice founder and managing director Karina Malhotra said: "Although it is great to see so many practices and integrated care systems performing well when it comes down to the number of appointments, we are still seeing one in six patients overall enduring a poor experience across the country.

“It’s fair to say that the average patient and GP relationship still needs improvement; however, this is a symptom of the pressure that is being faced by all parts of the NHS.

"Due to the pandemic and following increasing demands, an immense strain has been placed on GP practices and their staff over the last two years.

“With this in mind, it’s essential that GPs and the wider NHS start reviewing the challenges they are facing at a granular level. There is no silver bullet solution to these issues.

"In some cases, utilising technology and data effectively may improve matters, but in others, it may be largely a workforce challenge.”