Early findings from Healthwatch Brighton and Hove’s 2019 GP Patient survey indicate longer waits to get a GP appointment (450 responses to date):

  • Fewer people getting a routine appointment within three days (39% compared to 51% in 2017)
  • Fewer people getting an appointment the same day for an urgent problem (67% compared to 86% in 2017)

These are interim results from a Healthwatch GP patients on-line survey which will remain open until September 2019. We are releasing these interim results to encourage more people to take part in the survey, which can be accessed here:

Healthwatch GP Patient Survey


Declining numbers of GPs and increasing numbers of patients in the city have meant increasing patients per GP, currently at 2,495 patients per GP.

Brighton and Hove has 40% more patients per GP than for England as a whole.

DateGP FTETotal number of registered patients in Brighton & Hove
Dec 2017131.21317,171
Sep 2018129.46319,106
Dec 2018128.59320,872


Patients per FTE GPFTE GP per 1,000 patients


 Patients per GP
DateBrighton and HoveEngland
Dec 20172,4171,730
Sep 20182,4651,754
Dec 20182,4951,787

FTE = Full time equivalent


David Liley, Healthwatch Brighton and Hove, Chief Officer said today:

“People seem to be waiting longer to get a consultation with a GP in Brighton and Hove and this is despite more people being offered phone consultations.

We also know that GP numbers in the City are slowly declining and the local population is slowly rising. It seems like the drift is in the wrong direction.

To help us build a better picture of what is going on we need local people to complete our GP Patient Survey:

Healthwatch GP Patient Survey

It is important that the NHS explain what they are doing to address these issues. Perhaps they see the current situation as acceptable or perhaps it is all they can do with the available resources.”


Other early findings from the survey:

Waiting to see a GP at the appointment time

  • 84% saw GP within 20 minutes of scheduled appointment time (84% in 2017)

 Overall satisfaction

  • 83% were satisfied with GP service (83% 2017)
  • 89% would recommend GP practice to a friend/family member (86% 2017)

 Practice closure/merger

We asked people who had been affected by a GP Practice closure, merger or other change if they found their new surgery convenient:

  • 50% said ‘yes’ the new practice was convenient for them with 25% saying it was OK.

 Opening hours

Satisfaction with hours when people could access a GP

  • 76% were happy with the hours a GP was available (72% 2017).
  • Extended hours – 16% of people surveyed had used the Extended hours GP service and 72% of users were satisfied with the service.

  Mental health

Healthwatch asked about GP practices (doctors and nurses) responses to enquires at consultations about mental health or emotional wellbeing:

  • 33% of people surveyed had raised this kind of issue at a consultation.
  • 81% were satisfied with the response they received from the health professional.

Dr Roland Marden the Healthwatch Brighton and Hove Insight and Evidence Manager said today:

“This was the first time we had asked about mental and emotional health in Primary Care. A third of people said they had raised this kind of issue with a doctor or nurse showing just how much people rely on their local GP as their first port of call for support on this type of health issue.”


For interviews or further comment please contact:

David Liley

Healthwatch Brighton and Hove Chief Officer