Doctors’ surgeries across the county are stretched to breaking point as patients are being rushed through GP appointments in less than five minutes.

Research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed that thousands of patients in Oxfordshire only have five-minute appointments with their GP and one MP says this is not long enough.

Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has blasted the “stark postcode lottery” facing people in the area, with 45,980 GP appointments in April clocking in at under 5 minutes.

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The party has raised fears that many patients are not being seen for long enough by their doctor to be properly assessed. 

The new figures show that more than one in five GP appointments in Oxfordshire in April lasted for less than five minutes and almost half lasted for under 10 minutes.

Out of the 216,007 GP appointments in the county in April, an astonishing 45,980 were under five minutes long and 102,922 came in at under 10 minutes.

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The figures are similar in the rest of the country. NHS figures show that across England, around one in five (22 per cent) of the 16.6 million GP appointments in April lasted five minutes or less. Only half of all appointments across the country lasted longer than 10 minutes.

Commenting on GP services in her constituency, Ms Moran said: “These figures expose a stark postcode lottery as GP services are stretched to breaking point. People in Oxfordshire deserve better.

“The Conservatives promised to recruit more family doctors, but they are nowhere to be seen in our area.

Oxford Mail: Layla Moran

“Even once people manage to get an appointment, too often they are rushed through because doctors have to fit so many patients in.

"Doctors need to have time to properly assess their patients, especially those with conditions that are complex or getting worse whilst waiting for hospital treatment.

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 "Instead, patients in Oxfordshire are being treated like goods on a factory conveyor belt. It is completely unsustainable, and the Government needs to get a grip."

In March it was announced that GP appointments will be available until 8pm on weekdays and from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays from October, as part of plans set out by NHS England.

Dr Nikki Kanani, the NHS medical director for primary care and a GP, said: “The NHS is focused on recovering services and tackling the Covid-19 backlogs that have inevitably built up over the pandemic and so as part of the contract for general practice in 2022/23, extra funding will be given to primary care teams to increase checks for cancer and heart conditions for our patients.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Rebecca Whittaker, she joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Rebecca covers education and news in Abingdon and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: or calling 07824524333

Follow her on Twitter @RebecWhitt

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