MORE than 60 per cent of GP appointments that took place in Kent and Medway during August were face-to-face – the highest levels since the pandemic.
The NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board, which provides GP services throughout the region at around 189 surgeries, saw 828,677 patients during August, the latest figures show.
Of those appointments, 63 per cent (529,525) were face-to-face, with 34 per cent of all appointments conducted over the phone (282,307) and around 1 per cent (8,073) of patients were seen via home visits.
More than 38,259 people (4.6 per cent) failed to show up to a GP appointment that they had booked.
The figures show a rise in face-to-face appointments compared to last year, when just 55 per cent of appointments in August 2021 were face-to-face.
The figures, published by NHS England show nationally that GP face-to-face appointments have risen to their highest level since the start of the pandemic.
Around two-thirds of appointments (66.1 per cent) with family doctors in England were done in person in August, according to the latest data from NHS Digital.
This is just below the 66.2 per cent carried out in March 2020, the month the country went into its first national lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The proportion of face-to-face appointments has been steadily rising since the start of 2022, up from 60.1 per cent in January, but has still not returned to the pre-pandemic levels of around 80 per cent.
The figures show 17.5 million out of 26.5 million appointments were carried out face-to-face, compared to 7.9 million (30.0 per cent) over the phone.
This was also the lowest proportion of telephone appointments since March 2020, when it accounted for 27.6 per cent of sessions.