One in four British people are currently on a waiting list for a medical appointment, a new study has found.
The survey of 2,000 adults found that three in 10 were awaiting an appointment to see their GP, with one in three waiting to see a specialist after being referred by their doctor.
Of the participants polled, one in five were awaiting a potentially life-changing diagnostic test and a fifth were waiting to have an operation following a diagnosis.
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The research, conducted by Benenden Health and Medical, found that the average adult had to wait four weeks for a diagnosis or consultation, but 15 per cent had waited seven weeks or longer.
As a result, nearly one in 10 respondents rated their satisfaction with waiting times a zero or one out of a possible 10 - zero being "totally unsatisfied".
“Unfortunately, many patients with undiagnosed serious conditions do not always meet urgent NHS referral criteria and often have to wait too long for a diagnosis," director of Benenden Health and Medical Dr John Giles said.
“Waiting too long to have your health concerns resolved can have a huge impact on daily life, not least the major impact on your employment and wellbeing at work.”