Tories say GP access is not a problem

GP access is not a problem and dual registration is 'barking mad' according to Conservative Party shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley.

Speaking to the annual conference of the Dispensing Doctors’ Association (DDA) in Bristol this month, Mr Lansley tore into government policy.

Health minister Lord Ara Darzi’s interim report  ‘Our NHS, Our Future’, published in October, urged half of practices in England to open extended hours.

Although not mentioning dual registration directly, the report calls for engagement with those who ‘lead busy lives and find it hardest to find time to see their GP’.

However, Mr Lansley told the conference: ‘Access to GPs is not a major problem.’

He added that the government had agreed and negotiated the GMS contract and it was ‘a bit rich’ for primary care organisations (PCOs) not to commission services and then blame GPs for not opening later and at weekends.

Mr Lansley suggested that the only people who would benefit from dual registration were MPs. He described the idea as ‘barking mad’ and said most patients only needed to access GPs in one location.

The shadow health secretary said that practices were already situated where they needed to be.

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