That's an odd story tbh.Within the bounds of PERSEC, something came up during an army medical in autumn 2019 which I was told by the army doctors to see my civi GP about. I couldn't get an appt over the winter as they were stretched due to the usual winter demands and it wasn't seen as urgent. Once Covid started they stopped taking advance bookings and now only operate one day at a time. Call at 08:00 to try and get a triage call. Call after 08:05 and they're all gone. Having managed to get a triage call on a number of occasions, each time i'm told it's not critical that I see a GP that particular day therefore they refuse any further contact or treatment. I've already made a formal complaint to the practice manager however I got a generic reply that they're very busy what with a global pandemic and everything and patients are triaged based on their immediate medical needs. I did speak to BUPA and could get 15min with a GP for £70 however the follow up tests to get a diagnosis would cost into the low thousands. I resent having to pay that when i'm already paying £20k a year in tax and NI however it may be the only way to save my career in the reserves. The army doctor who is doing my App9 is of the opinion that the condition is serious enough to have me medically discharged from the reserves if not treated in a reasonable timescale so we're not talking about an ingrowing toenail!
I understand GPs have been busier than ever but I just can't get to see one either FTF or on the phone. It's absolutely ridiculous, and I'd dispute the bold - if I can't see a GP at all the NHS is clearly failing to provide me with primary health care!
Most GPs practices will book you a non urgent appointment a few weeks ahead, and won't use up all available slots for emergencies. You don't need to phone at 0800h to access those.
Perhaps they have no non emergency slots because they've run out of GPs? (as mentioned, the number of whole time equivalents-WTE for future reference if we have to keep discussing this- is dropping despite increasing demand, since T&C aren't good enough for retention...)