Exclusive: 25% of GPs refuse extended opening

DoH plans to boost access to general practice are likely to be met by a hardcore of resistance as a quarter of GPs said they were against extended hours, an exclusive GP survey reveals.

More than one in four (25.8 per cent) of the 517 GPs surveyed said nothing would encourage them to open for extended hours.

GPs who took part said they valued the end to 24-hour responsibility that the new GMS contract brought in 2005.

A respondent said: ‘No payment or penalties would make me work out of hours again. I did many years on call nights and weekends. The only reason I voted for this contract was to get out of out of hours and I will never work them again.’

Another said: ‘Since stopping out of hours after 30 years, I now have a life.’

Health minister Lord Ara Darzi is targeting GP access, with the government wanting half of practices in England to extend their hours.

However, 62.7 per cent of GPs said that they would only open for extended hours if funded, with 21.9 per cent specifying that this extra cash would have to be considerable for practices to open longer.

GPs are concerned about whether patients need extended hours but 61.8 per cent thought patients wanted them.

One respondent said: ‘I have no objection to extended hours but I need evidence that it will reduce morbidity/mortality. There is none.’

Fifteen per cent thought that patients would like general practice available to them 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

A GP respondent said: ‘The demand is probably infinite. Where do you draw the line and how do you provide more hours with the same resources as before without endangering the health of the providers?’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

RCGP urges GPs to collaborate with pharmacies on flu jabs this year

RCGP urges GPs to collaborate with pharmacies on flu jabs this year

The RCGP and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have called on GP practices and community...

GP appointments rising fast as COVID-19 cases 'near 10,000 a day'

GP appointments rising fast as COVID-19 cases 'near 10,000 a day'

GP appointments have risen rapidly in recent weeks as schools returned, according...

COVID-19 impact on medical schools risks 'serious damage' to future NHS workforce

COVID-19 impact on medical schools risks 'serious damage' to future NHS workforce

Medical training and the future NHS workforce could be seriously damaged by the financial...

GPonline's news editor wins medical journalism award

GPonline's news editor wins medical journalism award

GPonline news editor Nick Bostock has won News Story of the Year (specialist media)...

How GPs can support patients with 'long COVID'

How GPs can support patients with 'long COVID'

GPs must be ready to support patients with physical, psychological and social problems...

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

BMA demands 'rule of six' overhaul to prevent further lockdowns

The government must scrap its high-risk ‘rule of six’ and introduce more stringent...