DoH consults on proposals to make weekend GP access a right

NHS patients will have the right to register with a practice open in the evening or at weekends, according to the latest plans for the NHS Constitution.

The NHS Constitution will make weekend access to a GP a patient right
The NHS Constitution will make weekend access to a GP a patient right

A consultation on the constitution suggests it will be easier for patients to choose a GP surgery offering extended hours when practice boundaries are abolished.

‘Building on [the abolition of boundaries], we intend to create a right to choose a GP practice offering extended access to evening and weekend appointments.

‘We will need to engage with the profession to work through the details and we will seek to introduce this right as soon as practically possible,' the document says.

According to the latest DoH figures, over 77% of practices in England now offer extended hours.

New 'patient entitlements' will also enshrine the 18-week wait for treatment as a patient right, one of many targets shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley has promised to abolish.  

The consultation also proposes a right to a health check every five years for over-40s.

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