One in five consumers not able to get a GP appointment when they need it, finds new Simplyhealth research.

Research was conducted by Simplyhealth, the UK’s leading health solutions service, to gain a better understanding of how long consumers are waiting for GP appointments. The research carried out in December 2021, revealed that just under half (47%) of UK consumers tried to book an appointment with an NHS GP in the previous 6 months[1].

 Amongst those trying to book an appointment, 40% considered the reason for their appointment to be urgent, yet almost half of ‘very urgent’ medical issues couldn’t get a same day appointment[2]. Whilst the urgency of the medical need had a significant bearing upon how long consumers had to wait for an appointment, 1 in 5 were not able to get an appointment at all, and a further 1 in 5 had to wait a week or more later to get an appointment. 

 The research also revealed that a quarter of over 55s who tried to book an appointment were unable to get one at all.  Telephone appointments still came out highest in the research, with 51% of consumers saying they consulted GPs this way. Less than half (40%) saw their GP face to face and only 6% had video appointments.

To get fast and easy access to a GP or other healthcare professional, Simplyhealth offers a range of affordable health plans starting at £7.50 a month which offer 24/7 video GP appointments and 24/7 mental health counselling services, as well as online physiotherapy assessments[3].  Virtual health services are included with all of Simplyhealth’s health plans.

Over the last year, Simplyhealth has seen an 114% increase in customers making appointments through its 24/7 video GP service[4] , with a 102% increase in people downloading the video GP app (SimplyConsult)[5]. At Simplyhealth, 99% of customers are offered an appointment to talk to a GP within 3 hours[6].

Simplyhealth has launched its new TV advertising portraying different individual health scenarios, from fun and charming to serious and emotive.  

Chrissy Fice, Marketing Director at Simplyhealth

At Simplyhealth we are dedicated to our purpose of improving access to healthcare, for our valued customers and communities across the UK.  The TV ads bring to life on screen relatable health scenarios whilst highlighting Simplyhealth’s affordable health solutions. It’s not always easy or convenient to take a trip to a GP surgery, but with access to a 24/7 video GP, people can get peace of mind, temporary relief and the next steps to sorting those everyday health concerns, whenever and wherever they need it.

Chrissy Fice, Marketing Director at Simplyhealth

Simplyhealth has three different advertisements running nationally for six weeks across Sky and Freeview TV channels and supported by digital advertising. The advertisements can be viewed at:






[1] Maru Consumer Omnibus Survey. Questions were included within a consumer omnibus that was sent to a nationally representative sample of c.2,000 UK consumers. Data was collected between 3rd – 6th December 2021.

[2] Low base size, result is indicative only.

[3] Physio assessments are available: Mon – Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 10am-1pm, Sunday/Bank Holidays – Closed.

[4] 114% increase video GP appointments compared November 2020 to December 2021- Square Health Analytics.

[5] 102% increase in registrations/ downloading SimplyConsult – Nov 20-Nov21 Square Health Analytics.

[6] Source: Jan- Sept 2021 Square Health Analytical report.




About Simplyhealth

Since 1872, we’ve been helping people make the most of life through better everyday health. Our plans make sure individuals, families and employees can easily access in-person and virtual wellbeing services, and afford to stay healthy by claiming costs back on dental treatments, visits to the optician, complementary therapies and much more.

Today we’re delighted to be the UK’s leading health solutions company, with almost 1000 colleagues serving 2.3 million customers. We don’t have shareholders, so we’re led by our purpose of improving access to healthcare, for the many, for the long term. We’re passionate about using our voice in public health affairs and partnering with charities to reduce health inequality – each year we commit to giving 10% of pre-tax profits to a range of community causes. And we ensure our business takes care of the planet too, achieving Carbon Neutral + status in 2021.

To find out more, visit www.simplyhealth.co.uk


PR Contact Details

Tel: 0344 579 2489

Email: pr@simplyhealth.co.uk