GP surgeries are experiencing a 'very high demand' as Covid-19 cases continue to rise and the ‘super cold’ spreads.

As NHS waiting lists grow longer, we phoned doctors surgeries to see how long they are actually taking to answer the phone.

Bracknell News readers have previously shared their experiences with getting in touch with their GP and being able to see them face-to-face.

When we put the question to our readers, the majority said it was 'impossible' to get through to a receptionist on the phone.

Brian Tea: "Next to impossible. I needed an appointment recently and it took 77 Calls (my phone counted them not me) before I could speak to a receptionist."

ALSO READ: What you said: how easy is it to get a GP appointment in Bracknell?

Whereas Dee Hesson said her 'doctors surgery have been amazing'.

It comes after GP's faced criticism for conducting consultations via telephone rather than seeing patients in person.

On Tuesday, November 2, the Bracknell News phoned 10 doctors surgeries across Bracknell Forest and the results were extremely surprising.

Bracknell News: Ringmead Medical Practice took 21 minutes to pick up the phone Ringmead Medical Practice took 21 minutes to pick up the phone

One surgery, Evergreen Practice, answered their phone in a speedy 33 seconds but another, Ringmead Medical Practice, took 21 minutes to pick up the phone.

The majority of surgeries took between one and two minutes to answer the phone, while three took more than nine minutes to do so.

How long doctors surgeries took the answer the phone - quickest to slowest:

Evergreen Practice - 33 seconds

Easthampstead Surgery - 1 minute and 12 seconds

Great Hollands Health Centre - 2 minutes and 11 seconds

Binfield Surgery - 3 minutes and 48 seconds

Boundary House Surgery - 12 minutes and 15 seconds

Owlsmoor Surgery - 14 minutes and 17 seconds

Forest Health Group - 15 minutes and 29 seconds

Ringmead Medical Practice - 21 minutes and 21 seconds

Waterfield Practice - no appointments available

The Gainsborough Practice - line was constantly busy

We contacted Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group, to ask them about the delays in getting GP appoitnments over the phone.

A Frimley CCG spokesman said: "GP Surgeries across the country are experiencing significant increases in demand and this is also the experience of all Bracknell practices.

"The current workforce is working hard to meet the increase in calls to general practice. However, at certain times of the day and week, patients will have to wait longer for their call to be answered.

"Frimley CCG is working with the Bracknell practices to implement solutions to meet the demand. Some of our Bracknell practices are piloting a new telephony service where a dedicated, specially trained team will deal with on-the-day requests to support better access for patients.

"Demand locally is currently very high, and we are working with all Bracknell practices on strengthening capacity and increasing the variety of appointments including face to face. We have also worked to raise awareness around the variety of support services available to people, and how to use these services appropriately to get the best results.

"Our ‘Know where to go when feeling unwell’ guide includes everything from self-care at home and pharmacy, right up to NHS 111 and 999, and recognises that not every health concern will need to be seen by a GP.

"We continue to work closely with local GP practices and other partners to improve the offer available to our communities."