Exclusive: Practices lose £30,000 on extended hours

Practices are losing up to £30,000 a year because extended hours funding does not cover the cost of providing the service, a GP newspaper survey reveals.

Beth McCarron-Nash
Beth McCarron-Nash

Only a quarter of GPs said extended hours funding covers their costs. Many ran the service at a loss because not doing it would be even more costly.

One GP said providing extended hours cost his practice £22,000, but not opening longer would cost £28,000.

The extra hours, as predicted by the GPC, are creating stress within practices. The poll, of 301 GPs, found that more than a quarter felt relationships between partners, managers and staff had become strained as a result of extended hours.

It found evening and weekend clinics are generally well used, with 77% of GPs reporting that over three quarters of appointments are used.

But one in 10 GPs said less than a quarter of their extended hours appointments were used.

Respondents also reported more patients missing appointments, especially on weekends.

Just 17% of GPs said longer opening had improved the care at their practice. 

GPC negotiator Dr Beth McCarron-Nash said: ‘I'd like to see the government read the results of your survey and decide how to make access better in a way that can really meet the needs of patients. 

‘The funding for the DES (directed enhanced service) was always inadequate.'

A DoH spokeswoman said 1.1 million people had expressed a desire for extended hours in the latest GP patient survey.

‘Making these additional slots available to patients reduces pressures on general practice during other routine opening times,' she said.

‘Additional opening is therefore a core part of what patients want their practices to do and not simply an additional activity to be funded at premium cost.'

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

  • Read this week's GP dated 21 August for the full version of this story and a two-page analysis of the issue.

 


More news from 20 August

Backing for shadow health minister advising private GP firm
Blood and lymphatic treatment supply 'is inconsistent'
Nurses back NICE on cholesterol management
Unite suggests fast-track route into health visiting

 

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

Stopping work transfer from hospitals tops list of GP demands to tackle workload

Stopping work transfer from hospitals tops list of GP demands to tackle workload

Stopping hospitals dumping tasks on general practice tops a list of measures GPs...

New NHS chief must seize opportunity to ‘reset relationship’ with GPs, BMA warns

New NHS chief must seize opportunity to ‘reset relationship’ with GPs, BMA warns

NHS England has the perfect opportunity to ‘reset its relationship’ with general...

GPs able to deliver flu jabs from other surgeries within PCN under new ES

GPs able to deliver flu jabs from other surgeries within PCN under new ES

GP surgeries who deliver flu jabs at PCN level this year will be treated as a ‘temporary...

Professor Dame Clare Gerada elected RCGP president

Professor Dame Clare Gerada elected RCGP president

London GP Professor Dame Clare Gerada will become the new president of the RCGP,...

GPs lead COVID-19 vaccine drive as jabs stall in younger adults

GPs lead COVID-19 vaccine drive as jabs stall in younger adults

GPs have urged young people to come forward for COVID-19 vaccination with jab uptake...

GPs leading PCNs report heavy workload and limited impact from ARRS

GPs leading PCNs report heavy workload and limited impact from ARRS

PCN clinical directors are facing burnout and struggling to develop their networks...