Patients demand consultation on extended hours

Extended hours GP services will suffer because patients were not consulted, according to a pressure group.

The National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) argues that services will only meet local needs if patients are consulted. It notes that there is no requirement for either doctors or PCTs to consult patients before launching new services.

‘Different individuals and groups have different needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution,' says the NAPP's chief executive, Dr Graham Box. 

‘We urge GP practices and PCTs to make sure that there is a proper dialogue with patients at the local level and to facilitate new patient participation groups in those areas where they do not yet exist.'

DoH guidance on extended hours suggests using patient surveys as a guideline when deciding when to offer extended hours services. But practices are not required to consult patients directly.

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