Extended hours negotiations continue

The GPC is looking at 'fundamental flaws' in the extended hours directed enhanced service (DES), despite appearing to back the government’s offer last week.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said ‘significant movement' from the government helped the GPC to conclude that the offer was preferable to the imposition.

But GPC members have questioned whether the letter from NHS Employers at the centre of the GPC's decision contained any meaningful detail. 

GPC member Dr Prit Buttar said a majority had voted to back the offer but that he doubted there was anything in the letter that had significantly changed the deal.

‘I think the wording was subtly different, but there wasn't anything that would have made a material difference.' 

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘There has been an understandable clamour for us to give guidance. The government has moved sufficiently for us to say this will do you less damage.'

Details of the DES confirmed so far suggest £2.95 per patient per year will be paid to practices for opening an extra half an hour per 1,000 patients. 

Opening times will depend on how many patients want Saturday surgeries and how many want it on weekday evenings.  

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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