Health chief hails rise in number of face-to-face GP appointments in Norfolk

Norfolk and Waveney were second out of 42 regional care systems for the number of appointments Credit: ITV News

GPs in Norfolk and Waveney are providing more face-to-face appointments than almost anywhere else in the country, Norfolk's primary care director says.

At a meeting of the Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group's primary care commissioning committee, primary care director Mark Burgis said:

"It was pleasing to note that, comparatively, in September, Norfolk and Waveney had the second-highest level of face-to-face appointments across the whole of the country.

Official figures show that 58% of GP appointments in England were face-to-face Credit: PA

"Of the 42 [NHS England integrated care] systems, we were second, just under 70pc I think."

The figures come just a week after a report by the University of Cambridge found that phone or video consultations with doctors are "worse but more convenient" than face-to-face appointments.

Mr Burgis said the CCG would not "rest on our laurels".

He added: "We will continue to work with practices to see what we can do to try and make things better for patients."

There had been concern nationally that GPs were not giving enough face-to-face appointments and instead offering virtual slots. Last month the government announced social distancing would no longer be required in surgeries to help increase the number of face to face appointments.