The latest data available from NHS England has revealed which medical practices in west Dorset with the shortest and longest waiting times.

Data released at the end of March for February shows how many appointments at local doctor’s surgeries are booked in on the same day when a patient calls up to ask for one, and those who have to wait longer than 28 days.

Just over four in 10 people in Beaminster, Lyme Regis and Charmouth were seen by a medical practitioner on the same day they phoned up to make an appointment.

In total, 25,915 people were seen across the three medical practices in the region, with 41.3 percent seeing a nurse or doctor on the day they made their appointment, slightly below the national average of 43.5 per cent.

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However, 2,024 people were not seen until at least 28 days from making an appointment. This translates to 8 percent of patients, exceeding the national average of 2.1 percent.

The best performing practice was the Ammonite Health Partnership which oversees surgeries in Bridport Medical Practice, Tunnel Road Surgery in Beaminster, and Pound Piece in Maiden Newton.

The figures reveal that the combined surgery network saw almost half of its patients on the same day, 47.6 percent of 17,179 patients.

The practice with the lowest percentage of patients seen on the same day an appointment was made was Lyme Bay Medical Practice, which also includes the Littlehurst surgery in Charmouth - just over a quarter of 5,624 patients

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In terms of patients that were seen by a GP on the same day they booked an appointment, it was fairly even across the board, but with an average of 30.7 across the area, the GP practices all fell well below the national average of 55.8 percent

The Barton House Medical practice in Beaminster performed slightly better than the other two, with 35 percent of 1,007 patients seen by a doctor.

Ammonite Health Partnership saw a third of its 6,485 patients seen by a doctor on the same day and Lyme Bay came in at just under a quarter, with 354 of 1,444 patients.

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In terms of patients that had to wait more than 28 days to see a doctor, 175, or 12.12 percent of Lyme Bay patients waited over a month.

Ammonite Health Practice best performed with just 2.38 percent of patients waiting that long.

The type of appointment was also recorded in the data set.

Patients more likely to get a face-to-face appointment on the day where at the Ammonite Health Partnership. The practice saw 92.84 percent of its patients in person, a total 15,949.

Barton House was the least well performing GP surgery with 79.27 percent of its 3,112 patients getting a face-to-face appointment.

However, all three practices performed well above the national average of 66 percent, or two thirds.  

All three practices came below the national average for telephone appointments which is 13.5 percent and only Barton House had any online appointments with just 115.