Does booking a GP appointment fill you with dread?

Women holding head

Appointment Anxiety sees over a third of Brits missing out on vital GP help.

Are you one of the third missing out on GP support?

Research conducted by Co-op Health finds 34% of 18-44-year olds have run out of medicine because they’ve been put off seeing a doctor during the pandemic.

Our previous research revealed that two thirds of UK adults have chosen to delay or put off making an appointment to the doctors. In light of the unprecedented circumstances we’ve all faced this year, we asked you how you feel about visiting your GP now.

This revealed that in the COVID era, many have failed to access the help they need. Our research released today reveals that during the pandemic over a third (38%) of UK adults have delayed booking GP appointments.

The reasons why

  • Increased feelings of anxiety amongst UK adults is a key reason, with many revealing their feelings on booking appointments have changed since the virus took hold.

  • Prior to the start of the pandemic in the UK, many related feelings of comfort and relaxation when visiting a GP, yet the majority now admit feelings of anxiety and nervousness

Dr Linda Papadopoulos, Psychologist and TV Personality, commented: “It’s surprisingly common to feel anxious about medical appointments, especially when you are not sure what the outcome may be, however you’ll feel more anxious if you leave it to long, particularly when experiencing symptoms. Not only will your medical illness possibly worsen, it’s difficult to keep a clear mind if you are worried about the unknown.”

Who is affected most?

It seems the younger generations are the most likely to avoid getting medical help. Almost half of under 35- year olds reported feeling pressure from work not to attend their GP appointments.

The dangerous consequences

When looking at the impact this had, one in ten UK adults admitted that it resulted in their symptoms becoming much worse, and around the same amount of people claimed that their illness lasted much longer than it should have.

What needs to change?

While for the last few months video and phone consultations have been made available where needed, with new national and regional lockdowns being enforced, research reveals convenience is key to building confidence.

  • Being able to get a same day appointment would make people more open to visiting their GP

  • People would feel more confident if they could book and manage their appointments online.

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Co-op Health advice

Neil Stewart, Pharmacy Superintendent at Co-op Health says:

“It’s understandable that people may feel concerned when seeking medical advice at this time.

We’ve seen an unprecedented surge in demand for our app across all ages and locations throughout England. People who wouldn’t normally manage their health and wellbeing needs online are turning to convenient ways to do so and many doctors are also offering video or phone consultations.

The most important thing is not to delay seeking professional advice as this can lead to increased worry and early diagnosis and treatment is always best.”