PM wants longer GP hours

GPs' surgeries should be open from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week, David Cameron said as he announced a £50 million trial to encourage longer opening hours.

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Doctors could consult patients on email and phone

David Cameron's £50 million trial to encourage GPs' surgeries to open for longer will also look at improving access to doctors.

Patients could speak to doctors on video calls, through emails or on the phone. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The extra cash from the trial will be offered to groups of GPs proposing the most effective ways to improve access.

As well as extended surgery hours, ministers hope the trial will encourage a more effective use of technology - such as carrying out consultations with patients via video calls, email and phone.

Online appointment booking, electronic prescriptions and allowing people to visit a number of different surgeries across an area are also measures being sought from the first wave.

The first pilot projects are due to be operating by April 2014 with the hope they will be copied widely across the country.

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