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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Millions Avoid Doctors Due To Lack Of Appointments And Embarrassment

Shocking Research Further Reveals Strain On NHS

  • Majority Of Brits (Over 41m) Are Not Visiting Their GP Adding Further Strain On A&E Departments.

  • Unavailable Appointments, Embarrassment And Lack Of Trust Top The List Of Reasons Brits Avoid Doctors

  • Research Shows Those In Cardiff, London And Manchester Lack Trust In The NHS

  • At-home Testing Is One Solution To Help Ease Strain On NHS, Yet Millions Unaware Of Their Availability

Dr Hilary Jones
TV doctor, Dr Hilary Jones

A staggering 41 million Brits (61%) are avoiding visiting their doctors, according to new research by Newfoundland Diagnostics. The study uncovers the significant barriers deterring individuals from seeking timely medical attention.

The top reasons cited for avoiding doctor visits include a lack of available appointments (28%) and feelings of embarrassment about their illnesses (15%). Other reasons include not having time (10%), and even a lack of trust in the NHS or their GP (7%).

When it comes to trust, those in Cardiff are most likely to lack trust in the NHS or their GP (22%), followed by Londoners (17%) and Mancunians (14%), revealing a nationwide trust issue in our healthcare system.

This lack of trust and hesitancy to seek professional care often leads to conditions worsening untreated, placing additional strain on an already overburdened NHS.

The research also highlights a concerning knowledge gap surrounding healthcare access and options. More than a quarter of Brits (27%) believe that at-home tests can only be prescribed by a medical professional, despite their widespread availability in major supermarkets and pharmacies.

This increases amongst men, as more than 1 in 3 believe self-tests cannot be purchased over the counter compared to 23% of women. Research also suggests younger Brits need better education on healthcare access as almost half of 16-24 year olds believe at-home tests must be prescribed compared to less than 1 in 5 of those 55 and older.

The lack of available GP appointments has led to a concerning trend, with 1 in 4 Brits resorting to A&E due to GP shortages.  This increased burden on A&E services has had a significant impact, with Government data revealing that patients spending over four hours in major A&E departments reached a record high of 50.4% in December 2022 – the first month where over half faced such excessive delays.

In response to this research,  renowned GP and broadcaster Dr Hilary Jones has joined forces with Newfoundland Diagnostics to get the nation testing to help reduce strain on the overstretched NHS. Dr Hilary believes self-testing can help overcome the barriers preventing people from seeking medical care.

On his role, Dr Hilary Jones, said: "At-home testing has the potential to be a game-changer for easing the strain on our NHS, but we need more Brits to embrace self-testing.

"By empowering people to routinely monitor their health and identify issues early, we can significantly reduce unnecessary GP and A&E visits for conditions that could be caught sooner through self-testing. This frees up critical medical resources for those most in need of urgent care.

"The accessibility of at-home tests means people no longer have to delay getting checked due to challenges like appointment shortages or feeling embarrassed about their symptoms. They can take that first step through self-testing in their own home before deciding if they truly need to book an in-person visit.

"The key is getting the nation to adopt self-testing as that first step. Self-tests provide patients with key diagnostic information they can then share with their doctor for more informed, effective treatment plans. Catching issues like high cholesterol, fertility problems or potential cancers at an earlier stage leads to better health outcomes and potentially saving lives."

Frederick Manduca, Co-Founder of Newfoundland Diagnostics, said: "It’s surprising how many across the country believe that at-home testing is inaccessible despite their ubiquity during the pandemic.

"We're honoured to have Dr Hilary lending his trusted voice and medical expertise to drive awareness about our easy-to-use, affordable at-home tests. His advisory role will be invaluable in empowering the nation to embrace these tests as a pathway to accessible healthcare. Early identification can be life-saving."

Top 5 reasons Brits avoid going to the doctors to test for an issue:

  1. Takes too long to book an appointment (28%)

  2. It's embarrassing (15%)

  3. I would rather test at home (12%)

  4. I don't have time (10%)

  5. I don't trust the NHS or my GP (7%)

Top 5 cities who do not trust the NHS or GP

  1. Cardiff (22%)

  2. London (17%)

  3. Manchester (15%)

  4. Bristol (14%)

  5. Glasgow (10%)

To purchase any Newfoundland Diagnostics tests, please visit