Nearly half of patients wait 15 minutes longer than GP appointment time

Swimming instructor Karen Townsend, who is encouraging women to learn to swim

Gosport instructor is encouraging women to learn to swim

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NEARLY half of patients wait more than 15 minutes after their appointment time to see their GP.

Figures from the GP Patient Survey show while 59 per cent of people in Portsmouth are seen less than 15 minutes late, the rest have to wait longer.

One of the worst practices in the city was Kirkland Surgey, off Copnor Road, with 65 per cent of patients waiting at least 15 minutes after their allotted appointment time.

Among the best performing was The Eastney Practise, off Highland Road, which had 17 per cent of patients waiting longer than 15 minutes.

In Fareham and Gosport, the average for the area covered by the clinical commissioning group (CCG) is 38 per cent.

Jubilee Centre, in Titchfield, had one of the highest figures for patients waiting longer than 15 minutes with 57 per cent.

Lee-on-the-Solent Health Centre was one of the lowest in the area at just 15 per cent.

For South Eastern Hampshire CCG, the average number of patients waiting longer than 15 minutes was 41 per cent.

In Cowplain, the Village Surgery had only five per cent of its patients waiting longer than 15 minutes while the Cowplain Family Practise had a figure of 72 per cent.

The national average is 35 per cent.

Dr David Chilvers, chair of the governing body at Fareham and Gosport CCG, said sometimes the help patients need takes longer than expected leading to appointments overrunning.

‘We need to give each individual person the amount of time they need for their problem,’ he said.

‘There will be times GPs overrun because you cannot always predict how long an appointment will take.

‘Although we would love to give patients as long as they want, unfortunately we have to see people quickly to get through the numbers.

‘If there is very little leeway in appointment times, it leads to an increase in waits.

‘The bigger concern for me is the lack of available appointments full stop.’

Dr Chilvers, who is also a GP at Waterside Medical Centre in Gosport, added patients are usually understanding when they have to wait.

He said: ‘Patients appreciate that the NHS is under a great deal of strain.

‘They understand we want to give the best possible care and sometimes that takes longer with people.’