Pandemic may have changed the way people use the NHS in future

Research commissioned by the trade association for manufacturers of OTC medicines, PAGB suggests that people’s use of the NHS may change following the COVID19 pandemic.

The poll found that A&E and GP services are less likely to be the first port of call for those with self-treatable conditions in future while more people will choose to care for themselves if they can.

More than 2,000 adults took part in the survey which found that among those who previously sought a GP appointment as their first option, more than half (51%) said they were less likely to do so after the pandemic.

Further highlights from the poll:

  • Almost seven out of ten respondents (69%) who might not have considered self care as their first option before the pandemic said they were more likely to likely to do so in future;
  • Almost one in three people (31%) who would not have visited a pharmacy for advice before seeking help elsewhere said they were more likely to do so following the pandemic;
  • Almost one in three people (32%) said the pandemic had changed their attitude to the way they access healthcare services;
  • 77% agreed the pandemic should change the way we think about using GP appointments and A&E services;
  • 86% agreed that A&E and GP appointments should be used only when absolutely essential.