Significant number of patients (42 per cent) avoided making an appointment in 2021, including 20 per cent because they were worried about the burden on the NHS and 17 per cent who were concerned about catching Covid-19.
Responding to the latest GP Patient Survey, Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "For patient satisfaction in general practice to be so high following a year of unprecedented pressure is testament to the incredible efforts of GPs and their teams throughout the pandemic.
"We know that, particularly at the start of the pandemic, many patients did not seek medical attention when they were unwell. This has been for a number of reasons, reflected in this survey, including fear of catching Covid-19 and not wanted to burden the NHS. However, GP services have been available throughout the pandemic, and GPs and our teams are now making record numbers of patient consultations - 24 million in the last four weeks - alongside delivering the vast majority of the vaccination programme. Nevertheless, we continue to urge patients, if they are unwell or have symptoms than could be signs of serious illness such as cancer, to seek medical assistance."
The GPPS has been conducted in England for the last 15 years, providing national, CCG and practice-level data about the patient experience. Ipsos MORI administers the survey on behalf of NHS England, with fieldwork carried out in January-March each year.
Link: GP Patient Survey