Patients may have legal right to GP access in extended hours

Patients could be handed a legal right to access a GP in extended hours, under plans set out by prime minister Gordon Brown.

Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown

Building Britain's Future, published on Monday as Mr Brown sought to outline his vision for the country, sets out plans to give patients a series of legal rights.

The document says: ‘We will give patients enforceable rights to high standards of care, including hospital treatment within 18 weeks, access to a cancer specialist within two weeks and free health-checks on the NHS for people aged 40 to 74.’

But it adds that several other areas could also be made subject to legal rights: ‘At the same time we will look closely at where we can go further to establish new rights, for example to NHS dentistry, to evening and weekend access to GPs, to an individual budget for those with long-term or chronic conditions and whether we can create a right to choose to die at home as further progress is made in implementing the end-of-life care strategy.’

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