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David Cameron Promises Reforms To GP Services

Doctors' Surgeries Set To Open Seven Days A Week By 2020


Prime minister David Cameron is set to announce that patients in the UK will be able to have access to their family doctors seven days a week by 2020.

Today (Tuesday September 30th), Mr Cameron is outlining the details of a new contract for GPs, with his accompanying speech saying: "People need to be able to see their GP at a time that suits them and their family."

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, the prime minister stated that this was not a "fairytale announcement", explaining that a pilot scheme to trial a seven-day service had so far proved to be "a great success".

At the Conservative Party Conference in 2013, Mr Cameron launched a £50 million scheme in which doctors' surgeries based in certain parts of England were provided with the opportunity to bid for funding to enable them to open from 08.00 to 20.00, meaning patients had a greater chance of seeing their GP.

In addition, consultations via Skype and the phone were also introduced in a bid to ease the pressure placed on GPs, while also helping patients to find it easier to access medical advice.

Following the initial success of these measures, the government is now inviting GP practices throughout the UK to apply for funding for 2015-16 to enable them to stay open for longer and at weekends.

This is expected to cost the government around £400 million over the next five years, by which time it should be ready to bring in seven-day opening in all areas of the country.

Mr Cameron stated: "Yes, this costs money, but I think it will help take the pressure off a key part of the system."

He added that it would help to reassure families with young children or those who have been diagnosed with a health condition, as they will be able to access medical advice at more convenient times.

As well as its opening times reforms, the government is planning to bring back so-called named GPs to take care of patients' outside of hospitals.

If you've experienced negligent treatment due to rushed or over-worked GPs you might be entitled to compensation. Visit our GP Negligence Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
Changes to the GP system is long overdue, as we have represented a number of clients who have suffered as a result of falling standards caused by a lack of resources for family doctors. It is vital the changes outlined by the Government are implemented as soon as possible and action is taken to improve standards, access to local doctors and to alleviate the pressure GPs and their surgeries are under.

“Patient care should always be a top priority and it is crucial these new plans outlined by the Government are implemented with patient health and safety in mind and that they do not cause undue disruption to medical care, as these circumstances can lead to costly mistakes and suffering for patients.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner

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