02 January 2019, 14:52

Saga Members call time on 10 minute GP Appointments

Saga Members call time on 10 minute GP Appointments: GEN Doctors Office INT 21181
  • Three in five (59%) Saga Members don’t agree to restricting patients to discussing one condition during a ten-minute time slot.
  • One in ten (10%) respondents still book single appointments for multiple conditions, despite being told that they can only discuss one condition during an appointment.
  • Half (50%) of people reported a need for them to discuss more than just one condition during a visit to their GP.

Recent figures from the NHS show that currently, one in ten patients are waiting at least three weeks to see their GP, and every day, around 1 million people visit a GP in England.

The National Health Service is facing increasing pressure to manage its growing workload with fewer resources. Despite many people having complex health needs, almost one in five (18%) Saga Members reported to have previously been advised that they can discuss only one condition per ten-minute consultation with their GP. GP practices across the UK now offer a ten-minute consultation as standard, which is amongst the shortest in Europe.

However, 10% of Saga those questioned reported to continue to book single appointments for multiple conditions and half (50%) said that there is often a need for them to discuss more than one condition during a visit to their GP.

Although it may be more adequate to restrict appointment times for those with more straightforward conditions, or for those who are able to describe their symptoms easily, those patients who suffer from multiple ailments or have more complex issues may need longer to be heard.

With concerns around the possibility of a misdiagnosis as their GP may not hear details of all symptoms (71%), or that some conditions could go untreated as a result (69%), three in five (59%) Saga Members do not feel that it is fair to restrict patients to discussing only one single condition during just a ten-minute time slot.

Patients expressed similar concerns around the proposition of shared GP appointments, with Group GP appointments allowing patients to have their consultation together, being trialled across England. Nine in ten (88%) Saga Members were worried that it could lead to people not telling a GP about all their symptoms, whilst four in five (79%) said that it would breach people’s privacy. Just 14% suggested that they would be willing to attend a shared GP appointment.

Kevin McMullan Head of Health Insurance at Saga said “GPs must now work even harder to find new ways of providing more efficient care. Patients are living with multiple, long-term conditions and if people can only discuss one condition at a time, this results in the need for more appointments to be delivered by GPs who are already under pressure to carry out more checks, ask more questions and give more advice as standard during consultations.”




Abbi Cummings

Notes to editors

Contact the Saga Press Office email pressoffice@saga.co.uk or call 01303 774716

1Populus interviewed 11,687 adults, all aged 50+ online between 22nd and 29th October 2018. Data was weighted to be nationally representative. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk

About Saga

Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers aged over 50. Saga is synonymous in the UK with the over 50s market and is recognised for its high quality products and services.  These include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award winning Saga Magazine.