SICK people are resorting to being a "DIY Doctor" after failing to secure a face-to-face appointment with a GP, new research shows.
More than one in four adults failed to get an in-person consultation with a family doctor in the past twelve months leaving some to make their own medical decisions.
One in six of those who didn’t get a slot either administering treatment themselves or asking someone who wasn’t medically qualified.
The survey of 2,000 people last month found that of those who were unsuccessful in seeing the doctor one in four said they purchased medication at a pharmacy or online without GP advice,
One in five went direct to A&E, a third said they delayed seeing a GP despite being in pain and further third gave up, the Savanta ComRes poll found.
One in 10 paid for a private consultation and another 10% travelled a long distance to find a GP surgery that was offering appointments.
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Dr Richard Van Mellaerts, BMA England GP committee deputy chair, said self care may be the right thing to do for minor health conditions.
He added: “It is worrying if patients feel forced into inappropriate courses of action because they are struggling to book an appointment for an issue that requires the attention of a GP or a member of practice staff.
But Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said: “This is a national scandal.
Face-to-face GP appointments have become almost extinct in some areas of the country,” he said.
“We now have the devastating situation where people are left treating themselves or even self-prescribing medication because they can’t see their local GP.
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“The British public pay their fair share to the NHS, but years of Government mismanagement and neglect of local health services has left millions unable to see their GP.”
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We recognise the pressures GPs are under and are working to increase access for patients.
“This year GP teams have delivered 80,000 more appointments every working day compared to last year, and we plan to deliver over a million more appointments this winter by bolstering general practice teams with other professionals.”
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