DoH demands practices open extended hours

The DoH wants at least half of practices in England to open extended hours, either Saturday mornings or one or more evenings each week.

Professor Sir Ara Darzi
Professor Sir Ara Darzi

The DoH says funding will be available but if exisiting practices refuse to open extended hours other providers will be commissioned.

It suggests negotiation between PCTs and practices.

The proposal is contained in the interim report (www.nhs.uk/ournhs) on the ‘Our NHS, Our Future’ review published by health minister and surgeon Lord Darzi today.

Another proposal is for over 100 new GP practices, including up to 900 GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants, offering extended hours in the 25 per cent of PCTs with the poorest provision.

Funds will enable PCTs to set up 150 GP-run ‘super surgeries’ or health centres open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm, situated in easily accessible locations and offering a range of services, including pre-bookable appointments and walk-in services.

The NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) will include practice details including the results of the patient survey, practice opening times and performance against key quality indicators.

To help develop future strategy on primary care a new advisory board will be appointed that includes GPs, community nurses and other health and care professionals. The following have already agreed to help lead this work.

Another proposal is that greater influence must be placed in the hands of local NHS staff and others working in partnership across the service, based on the best available evidence, using the latest technological innovations and responding to the needs of local communities.

Lord Darzi said: ‘At the end of the next phase of the review, I shall outline how we plan to make this vision a reality, in spring next year.’

Another proposal is that £100 million will be spent on a new Health Innovation Council to help the NHS develop and deploy hi-tech healthcare such as medical devices and diagnostics.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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