44% say it is easier to go straight to A&E for non-serious conditions than go through out-of-hours GPs
On the week of the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the NHS, the British public are showing significant concern and confusion about the state of out of hours care, concern which lead many (44%) to say it is easier for them to use A&E to be treated for conditions that are not serious than to get help through out of hours GP services. Other findings include:
• A majority of the public think that waiting times in A&E (54%) and access to out of hours GP appointments (53%) have got worse over the past ten years.
• Most (52%) also think that access to GP appointments during normal working hours have got worse over the past ten years. Just one-third (32%) think access has got better.
• Most (57%) are unsure about what the NHS 111 service offers which may explain why many (44%) say it is easier to go straight to A&E to be treated for conditions which are not serious than to get help through out of hours GP services.
Given the apparent strain on NHS resources, two-thirds (68%) of the public believe that people who miss GP appointments should be charged. However, this does not mean the public think that those who can afford to pay for NHS treatment should automatically do so - just one in four (25%) believe that those that can afford to pay for NHS treatment should do so while 59% disagree.