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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Publication, Part of

Appointments in General Practice May 2020

Official statistics, Experimental statistics


The aim of the publication is to inform users about activity and usage of GP appointments historically and how primary care is impacted by seasonal pressures, such as winter.

NHS Digital publishes this information to support winter preparedness and provide information about some activity within primary care. The publication covers historic appointments, marked as attended or did not attend, from national to CCG coverage. The aim is to inform users, who range from a healthcare professional to an inquiring citizen, about appointments within primary care.

The publication includes data from participating practices using EMIS, TPP, MICROTEST, INFORMATICA and VISION GP systems.

NHS Digital produce this information monthly, containing information about the most recent month and previous months.

The publication includes important information, however it does not show the totality of GP activity/workload. The data presented only contains information which was captured on the GP practice systems. This limits the activity reported on and does not represent all work happening within a primary care setting or assess the complexity of activity.

No patient identifiable information has been collected or is included in this release.

Impact of Coronavirus

The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to unprecedented changes in the business processes within General Practices and subsequently the GP appointments data within this publication. The variation in approach to appointment management between practices is likely to be greater than usual during the Coronavirus outbreak and as a result data quality will be impacted. These changes in clinical practice and use of GP appointment recording systems impact upon on what can be inferred from this data and as such they should continue to be considered as experimental statistics (see the ‘Experimental Statistics’ tab for further information). Please see the 'Appointments in General Practice - May 2020: Summary' document below for further information.

Number of appointments

17.0 million appointments are estimated to have happened in May 2020.

Attended appointments

91% of appointments in May 2020 were recorded as attended.

96% of appointments held on the same day as they were booked were attended, compared to 58% of appointments where the time between the booking and appointment date was 15 days or more.

Telephone appointments

48% of appointments in May 2020 were carried out over the telephone.

This is an increase from February 2020 where 14% of appointments took place by phone.

Impact of Coronavirus

The outbreak of Coronavirus has impacted the quality of the GP appointments data.

See the 'Appointments in General Practice - May 2020: Summary' document below for further information.

Last edited: 24 May 2021 2:12 pm