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GPs told to boost face-to-face appointments to improve patient access

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Latest figures show that in July, 57 percent of GP appointments were face-to-face. This was up from just under 50 percent in July 2020, but far below the pre-Covid level of 80 percent in July 2019.

Mr Javid told The Telegraph: “I fully support the need for surgeries to provide face-to-face appointments alongside telephone and online appointments.

“To further improve access for patients, the NHS is providing tailored support to over 900 practices.”

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “It’s good to see that NHS England intends to challenge and support GP practices which are struggling to provide enough face-to-face appointments for their patients.

“We hope this will lead to many more older people seeing a GP in person when this is what they want and need.”

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Patients should have access to high quality GP care when they need it.

“But that care must also be safe and the chronic shortage of GPs is making this increasingly difficult.”

He urged the Government to deliver its pledge of 6,000 extra doctors and 26,000 additional practice staff in the next three years.

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