Johnson says extended hours not just useful for commuters

Manual workers paid by the hour – not just wealthy commuters – would benefit from extended opening because they can't afford to take time off work, health secretary Alan Johnson has said.

Alan Johnson
Alan Johnson

He told the Labour party spring conference in Birmingham that patients should receive a more personalised service from the NHS, and warned that ‘the days of patients being the passive recipients of a one-size-fits-all service are over'.


He said plans for 100 new GP surgeries in under-doctored areas and 150 new health centres would help create more personal care. And he again called on GPs to back extended hours, arguing the change was ‘not just for the benefit of commuters'.


‘When surgeries in Canary Wharf opened early in the morning, their first patients were not city hot shots,' he said. ‘They were hourly-paid manual workers who lost money - or worse, their jobs - if they didn't go to work.'


Mr Johnson also pledged to improve accountability in the NHS, by setting out ‘the rights and responsibilities of a modern 21st century health service' in an NHS constitution.

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