In the last six months there has been a rise in waiting times and abandoned calls to GP surgeries.

More than 40% of calls weren’t answered at all by surgeries across the Isle of Man.

The data comes from a written Tynwald question submitted by previous health minister David Ashford.

The Douglas North MHK wanted to know how many incoming calls were received, how many went unanswered and what the average wait time was in each of the last six months.

Current minister Lawrie Hooper listed figures for six surgeries in the island using a call monitoring system.

Those GPs were Ballasalla, Palatine in Douglas, Ramsey, Southern, Onchan Village Walk, and Laxey.

Of these, Ramsey Group Practice had the highest average of calls going unanswered, with it missing up to 6,014 of 10,450 calls in December.

Overall, just under 45% of the 75,105 calls made between June and December were abandoned.

However, it was Southern GP where patients experienced the longest waiting time.

The average wait time in July was six minutes and 28 seconds and its lowest happened in November with an average of two minutes and 20 seconds.

Its shortest average wait time was two minutes and 20 seconds in November last year.

Just over 11,300 calls were made to Laxey GP in the seven month period and only 2,256 were abandoned, making it the best performing surgery out of the six with details provided.

It also had the lowest wait time of any surgery, with an average of 49 seconds in August last year.

Meanwhile, Onchan Village Walk missed 6,715 of just over 20,200 calls received from July to the end of the year.

Its average wait time varied from one minute 32 seconds in July, all the way up to five minutes and eight seconds in December.

Of Palatine’s 59,000 calls received, just under 60% were answered.

Its average wait time reached as long as three minutes and 48 seconds in July but was only one minute and 59 seconds in September.

In every case, the number of abandoned calls had increased across the six months.

Mr Hooper explained in his written answer that work is being undertaken to improve patient experience.

He said: ‘Following the recent introduction of freephone numbers for all GP practices, further work is ongoing with GTS to improve the experience for patients calling their GP practices (for example – the inclusion of information regarding the call queue length).

‘All GP practices offer online services to patients via Patient Access.

‘This enables patients to interact with the practice online rather than via telephone – this includes appointment management and ordering repeat prescriptions.’