A poll of UK doctors conducted by Pulse, a GP magazine, has found that the average waiting time is now almost 15 days.
First Contact Practitioners (FCPs) such as chiropractors could play a crucial role in reducing this wait, with MSK problems accounting for 1 in 8 GPs appointments.
Catherine Quinn, President of the British Chiropractic Association, said: “This new survey by Pulse has thrown crucial light on the urgent need to alleviate GP pressures, not only to ensure patients are treated safely, but also to protect staff. The NHS has ambitious plans to recruit 22,000 practice staff to support GPs is promising, but it’s a long term goal and does not address the immediate need, so we need to work together to raise better awareness about the support already available. First Contact Practitioners, such as chiropractors, can help relieve the pressures on primary care services today. For example, we know that 80% of people in the UK will suffer with back and neck issues during their lifetime and, of those, 32% will visit their local GP as the first action, when they could see a chiropractor instead – that’s potentially over 17 million people that could avoid seeing the GP as their first port of call.”