GPs warn of delays due to Cervical Check controversy

Doctors say they are experiencing "a significant increase" in calls

GPs warn of delays due to Cervical Check controversy

File photo of a general practitioner in Minden, Germany | Image: MARUIZIO GAMBARINI/dpa

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) say patients may experience a delay in getting an appointment to see their family doctor.

It says this is due to the "hugely increased demand" placed on them as a result of the ongoing Cervical Check controversy.

General Practitioners say they are also experiencing "a significant increase" in calls from concerned patients.

They say this has led to patients experiencing difficulties getting through to their GPs.

"We would ask patients to bear with us through this time of increased workload", the NAGP says.

"We advise that patients should contact Cervical Check helpline in the first instance, should they have any queries related to the Cervical Check programme.

"We have been advised, that if a patient would like to have a repeat smear, Cervical Check will facilitate this at no cost to the patient.

"This has placed an unprecedented level of additional workload onto, what is already a deeply overburdened general practice system."

It says its members are receiving dozens of additional calls daily, as well as an unprecedented demand for consultations.

"We will always aim to see urgent cases on the same day, but patients may now have to wait several days for a routine consultation", it adds.

The NAGP is advising women to continue to attend for routine smears as part of the Cervical Check screening programme as normal.

"Screening saves lives, we cannot let recent events undermine this fact", the group adds.