Mar 24, 2013 5:07 AM GMT
Patients are having to wait more than 48 hours to see a GP and often take time off work when they do because appointments are hard to get and at inconvenient times, a new report warns.
Research by the Patients Association also reveals deep dissatisfaction with out-of-hours care and widespread concern that weekend and overnight services may not deal with an urgent problem properly.
Six in 10 people who took part in a survey (60.5%) said they could not get to see a GP for at least two days, while 83.8% had to wait for more than 24 hours.
The research was published as MPs warned that patients who need access to treatments including cataract surgery and hip and knee replacements are facing a "rationing" of resources as the coalition government attempts to enforce the NHS's £20bn efficiency drive.