National Health Service (NHS) and the Department of Health officials have told that GP surgeries in England will not be forced to extend opening hours, despite the prime minister Theresa May blaming practices for the current crisis in hospitals.
Earlier this month, the prime minister had suggested that the limitation on GPs’ working hours was putting unnecessary pressure on overstretched A&E departments. It was supposed that the Department of Health was asking GPs to remain open from 8am to 8pm every day or face funding withdrawal.
On 23rd January, the chair of BMA GPs committee (GPC), Chaand Nagpaul in a letter to GPs said that the prime minister comments had been an “unacceptable” and a “slur” against general practice. The current problems in the NHS are a crisis of the government’s own making.
He further added that the GPC will not accept pushing GPs to work any harder or longer at a time when GPC manifestly don’t have the capacity and are incapable to cope within the current hours. Officials’ have assured him that there will be no obligation on individual GP practices to be open for seven days, or beyond their current contractual hours’.
The British Medical Association (BMA) was one of many health organisations calling for explanation to the prime minister’s comments including the King’s Fund, the Royal College of GPs, the Nuffield Trust and even Dr Sarah Wollaston, the chair of the House of Commons’ Health Select Committee.
A spokesperson from Department of Health (DoH) praised GPs for doing a "fantastic job" saying that the DoH recognises that GPs have their patients' interests "firmly at heart".
The vision of the DoH is that by 2020 everyone will be able to access routine GP appointments at evenings and weekends, which is why DoH have committed over £500m to improve access. The DoH would encourage GP surgeries to work together in local areas to succeed this, as set out in the planning guidance of the DoH, the spokesperson said.
Visit our blog page daily for more updates on National Health Service and UKs' Healthcare system.
Recruitment Synergy is a UK based Medical Recruitment Agency. Remember us for Locum, temporary and permanent jobs across UK. We also provide compliance support and migration consultation to our candidates.