Online providers lead the recovery

DHC Director, Graham Kendall, analyses the latest GP appointment data and notices those CCGs that use DHC members for video consultations are at the forefront of resuming services.

The latest GP appointment data runs up to the end of June 2020. While the volume of GP appointments is still down by 11.5% year-on-year across the country, this is a notable improvement on May’s figures.

Of course, that national average masks a huge amount of variation:

  • At the top end of the scale, four CCGs carried out more appointments in June 2020 compared to a year ago: NHS West London CCG, NHS Warrington CCG, NHS North Tyneside CCG, and NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG.
  • By contrast, those struggling the most are still seeing activity levels running as low as 50% of last year’s rate.

The map below shows variation across the country.

Unfortunately, the published data on video appointment volumes isn’t reliable, but it’s notable that many of the CCGs where activity is at its highest are those that use DHC providers for their video consultations.

Also significant is the relationship between total GP appointment volumes and those joining the waiting lists for elective care. Since Covid, there’s been a remarkable 95% correlation between appointments per working day and the number of new referrals onto the waiting list. Given the deep concerns that there will be many patients with serious and worsening conditions who have not accessed GP provision during Covid, then the sooner we can begin their care, the better.