Labour bids to make extended hours compulsory

A re-elected Labour government would make extended hours compulsory for all GP practices, ministers have said.

Mike O Brien
Mike O Brien

In his keynote speech to the party's conference in Brighton last week, prime minister Gordon Brown praised the success of the existing scheme in getting 75% of practices in England to open extended hours. But he added that over the next five years ‘we will ensure every patient has the right to see a GP in the evening or at the weekend'.

Health minister Mike O'Brien clarified to GP newspaper that this would mean extending hours at every practice.

The demand for walk-in services at GP-led health centres had made it ‘clear there's a demand to see GPs at evenings and weekends'. ‘In due course, we'd like to see all GP surgeries being able to offer them to patients who want them. We hope it'll be part of the core offer.'

Mr O'Brien said that the government would talk to the GPC about how to fund and deliver the scheme over the course of the next parliament.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the plans were a ‘misunderstanding of how practices work and what patients need'. He said it may be unaffordable in a recession.

A Conservative spokesman said the party would scrap extended hours. ‘It would be up to GPs how long they stay open,' he said.

The Tories would make GPs responsible ‘for commissioning patient care 24/7', so they would have to arrange cover outside the hours they provide themselves, he added.

Read this week's GP dated 9 October for the full version of this story.

  • Should all practices extend hours?

 

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

JCVI confirms priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

JCVI confirms priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published a final...

MHRA approves Pfizer/BioNTech jab paving way for COVID-19 vaccination to start

MHRA approves Pfizer/BioNTech jab paving way for COVID-19 vaccination to start

The MHRA has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in the UK and...

Enhanced service contract for GP practices delivering COVID-19 vaccine revealed

Enhanced service contract for GP practices delivering COVID-19 vaccine revealed

GP practices have until midnight on 7 December to sign up to a COVID-19 enhanced...

Five GP practices a week inspected by CQC during pandemic second wave

Five GP practices a week inspected by CQC during pandemic second wave

The CQC has inspected five GP practices a week in England since the second wave of...

Pregnant women and under-18s will not be offered COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women and under-18s will not be offered COVID-19 vaccine

Pregnant women, children and under-18s will not be recommended for routine COVID-19...

GP training: How an audit e-portfolio log entry is assessed

GP training: How an audit e-portfolio log entry is assessed

The second of two articles on audit during GP training looks at how the quality improvement...