The Spectator

Has it really got harder to see a GP in person?


Floating vote

Voters in St Petersburg were presented with three candidates all calling themselves Boris Vishnevsky, with two believed to have changed name and appearance to draw votes from the other. It is not the first time voters have faced a confusing choice:

— In a Moscow city election in 2019 voters had the option of voting for ‘Alexander Solovyov’ — though it turned out not to be the Alexander Solovyov who was in prison at the time and barred from standing.

— In the 2017 local election in Ferguslie Park, Glasgow, Conservative John McIntyre was elected, with many speculating that voters had meant to opt for an independent candidate called John Goudie McIntyre.

— In the European election of 2019, voters in the south-east region were offered the choice of two candidates called Alexandra Phillips, one Green and the other for the Brexit party. Both were elected.

By appointment

GPs were told to offer more face-to-face appointments. How did appointments in July compare with the same month in 2019?

July 2019

Total number 26.2m 

Face-to-face 80%

Phone 14%

Online 0.6%

Home visit 0.9%

Same day 42%

Within one day 49%

Within one week 69%

>28 days’ wait 4.7%

July 2021

Total number 25.5m

Face-to-face 57%

Phone 39%

Online 00.4%

Home visit 0.6%

Same day 45%

Within one day 54%

Within one week 76%

>28 days’ wait 2.5%

Source: NHS Digital

Tax returns

How much money did National Insurance contributions raise in 2019/20 compared with other taxes?

Income tax £193.2bn

NICs £142.8bn

VAT £129.9bn

Corporation tax £61.7bn

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