Local GP and Chair of Dorset General Practice Alliance, Dr Forbes Watson has thanked all staff working in primary care as data published today shows over 400,000 appointments took place in January 2023.

This means that there were 36,000 more appointments last month than in January 2022 and shows year on year that more appointments are available in general practice.

The data published by NHS Digital shows that:

  • 329,559 appointments were face to face
  • 76,451 phone or virtual appointments took place
  • 78% of people were seen within 14 days
  • 39% of these were same day appointments

Dr Watson said “These figures are a reminder that despite the ongoing pressures in the wider health and care system, general practice is still there for people. January was an extraordinarily busy month with extra demand on practices due to concerns around Strep A, as well as other winter pressures and I am delighted that the local health and care system stepped up to meet this demand.

“Often when people think about general practice, they might think just about seeing their doctor, however many common ailments or complaints can better be dealt with by another member of the practice team; this also helps manage demand and free up appointments for people who may need them more.

“Each practice may have a slightly different team so I would encourage people to find out what’s on offer locally by visiting the practice website where they are registered or speaking to a member of the team during their next appointment.”

Using the most appropriate service helps manage demand – think 111 first if you need urgent care that is not life-threatening.

Visit www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/ to find out more.