UK governments split on extended hours

Extended hours are likely to differ across the four UK countries because the different governments disagree on their importance, GP can reveal.

Scotland's government will follow the DoH's push for extended hours, while in Wales and Northern Ireland the issue is not a priority.

In England, funding from the access and choice and booking directed enhanced services (DESs) will be re-invested as an extended hours DES.

Scotland's Department for Health and Wellbeing confirmed that it would be following England's stance on improving access by re-allocating funding towards extending hours.

Any proposed changes to the quality framework by the DoH will apply across the UK from April because quality framework policy-making is not devolved.

GPs are being consulted on the reassignment of 58.5 quality points for a range of improved access, including extended hours.

DES arrangements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be negotiated by their governments separately from England.

Extended hours negotiations are complicated because England's current DESs are different to those elsewhere in the UK.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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