GP appointments drop across East Yorkshire in December, NHS Digital figures show

Fewer GP appointments were carried out in East Yorkshire in December, figures show, as health care workers across England focused their efforts on the coronavirus booster jab rollout.

By Federica Bedendo (data reporter)
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 12:10 pm
129,149 GP appointments were held across the NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG area in December. Photo: PA Images
129,149 GP appointments were held across the NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG area in December. Photo: PA Images

GP teams up and down the country were urged to free up capacity to deliver Covid vaccinations after the Government’s booster jab campaign was ramped up in December.

A letter from the NHS at the time said this “could include pausing routine and non-urgent care and redeploying staff” to support the rollout.

NHS Digital figures show 129,149 GP appointments were held across the NHS East Riding of Yorkshire CCG area in December.

That was 17% fewer than the month before, but 9% more than the 118,114 which took place in December 2020.

Appointments remained above pre-pandemic levels at the end of last year – 124,317 sessions were held in December 2019.

Across England, 25 million GP appointments were held last December – 17% fewer than 30.3 million in November.

However, this was a 6% rise from 23.7 million in December 2020 and 8% higher than in December 2019.

NHS England said the most recent figures did not include vaccination appointments and walk-ins, with more than 6 million jabs delivered by primary care networks between December 8 and 31 alone.

The NHS Digital figures also show that of the consultations held by the East Riding of Yorkshire GPs in December, 68% were held face to face – in line with a month earlier.

An NHS spokeswoman said: “General practice delivered more than 25 million routine appointments – ensuring people received urgent care, support for long-term conditions and cancer care was prioritised – whilst also delivering around half of all booster vaccinations in December, as the NHS answered the Prime Minister’s call to focus all available resource on fighting Omicron.”

NHS England asked GPs to shift their focus back to routine care in late January.