No profits from extending access

Practices cannot expect to make money from adopting extended hours, according to a leading GP and member of Lord Darzi's review team.

Dr Michael Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance and a Devon GP, confirmed that the DoH did plan to take 60 quality points to fund extended hours, as exclusively revealed by GP last week.

However, he added that there would be money available from the comprehensive spending review announced this month.

Dr Dixon said: 'The ideal scenario is practices or collectives of practices running a rota to offer this access. But if patients can't access these services from their existing GP then a walk-in centre or a private provider will have to provide them instead.

'I don't think we can expect to be making money from extended opening hours,' he added. 'The alternative is to go to the market and if we've overpriced ourselves and the market can offer it more cheaply it will focus minds.'

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