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GPs 'can't sustain current service, let alone stretch it'

GP services are under so much pressure in the UK that they cannot sustain the existing service without extra money, let alone extend their hours through the weekend, a medical expert has warned.

Deputy Chair of the BMA, Dr RIchard Vautrey told Good Morning Britain: "We need more GPs, more nurses, more support staff and there's no sign of that happening at all. This is just a drop in the ocean."

BMA: National shortage of GPs already a real challenge

Dr Chaand Nagpaul of the British Medical Association said a national shortage of GPs was already a "real challenge" without the pressure to work additional hours.

Speaking after Prime Minister David Cameron urged longer opening hours for GPs' surgeries, Dr Nagpaul said they are "currently unable to cope with the increased demands of care".

He told ITV News: "These additional hours amount to around a 58% increase on current levels and we really don't have the GPs to meet current demands, let alone an addition 58% increase in hours."

'More doctors needed to lower death rate'

The NHS does not have "as many" doctors per hospital bed as we need to lower the death rate, a former head of the British Medical Association has said.

Dr Brian Jarman echoed comments made by a Royal College of Physicians report that patients were more likely to die at the weekend because there were not enough staff.

He added: "Complaints by patients...at the moment don't investigate 99.7% of them. What industry would do that?"

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Labour: Hunt should keep quiet on HNS

Criticism of the NHS by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is having a "very, very bad effect" on morale, shadow health minister Lord Hunt of Kings Heath said today:

Hardly a day goes by without the Secretary of State taking the opportunity to attack various aspects of the National Health Service.

This is having a very, very bad effect on morale within the NHS and Mr Hunt should desist. A period of silence from him would be very welcome.

– Lord Hunt

Hunt: 'Its my job to speak up for patients'

Jeremy Hunt MP, Health Secretary

Jeremy Hunt has responded to the vote of no confidence given to him by the British Medical Association by accusing the union of being "sadly predictable".

"The BMA is the doctor's union and I'm afraid its sadly predictable that when someone speaks out about problems in the NHS they would react like that" he said.

"But what I would say its not just me who want's to improve patient safety on the NHS, every week, it's horrible to say but we operate on the wrong part of someone's body in some part of the NHS".

"I gave a difficult speech about that last week saying we'd got to do better and i think most doctors would support me. I think it's my job to speak up for the patients without fear or favour and that's what I will continue to do".

Doctors feel they 'are blamed for NHS problems'

Dr Paul Flynn the chairman of the BMA Consultants Committee has told ITV News that doctors felt like they were scape goats for "problems which are in the Health Secretary's remit".

Dr Paul Flynn, Chairman of the BMA Consultants Committee Credit: ITV News

"We are always open to working together we want to form a common ground with the Health Secretary. But if the Health Secretary is blaming doctors for the problems then that is very difficult".

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