PM confirms extension of GP hours for millions of patients

7.5 million patients are going to be able to see their family doctors outside of work hours thanks to a new fund to extend GP opening times, the Prime Minister has announced.

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Labour: GP shake-up will not help millions of patients

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham disputes whether government plans to improve access to GPs will research the number of people claimed.

He said: "People know from their own experience that it has got much harder to get a GP appointment under David Cameron.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham. Credit: Press Association

"He has left people ringing surgeries early in the morning only to be told there is nothing is available for days. This is because, within weeks of taking office, he removed Labour's guarantee of an appointment within 48 hours.

"David Cameron also cut the money for later opening hours and now hundreds of surgeries are closing earlier."

"The big problem with this new plan is that it won't benefit millions of people. For the vast majority who are outside of this scheme, things will carry on getting worse and they are being told to expect to wait a week for a GP appointment," he added.

NHS England: GP shake-up to help patients, GPs & NHS

NHS England has welcomed the changes to GP access and tailored care for elderly patients, announced by the government.

By freeing up hard working family doctors to spend more time with their sickest patients, and by making it easier for other patients to get through to their GP surgery for help and advice at evenings and weekends, these initiatives have the potential to be a win-win-win for patients, their doctors and the NHS.

– Chief executive of NHS England Simon Stevens

PM announces plans to 'improve services for elderly'

As well as increased access to GPs, the Prime Minister also announced plans to enhance care services for the elderly.

GP services are to be improved for those over 75, the Prime Minister has announced. Credit: Press Association

Around 800,000 people over the age of 75 and those with more serious health complaints will get tailored care, coordinated by just one local GP, David Cameron announced.

"Back in October, I said I wanted to make it easier for people to get appointments that fit in around a busy working week and family commitments," he said.

"There has been a great response from doctors, with lots of innovative ideas, and we will now see over seven million patients given weekend and evening opening hours, alongside more access to their family doctor on the phone, via email or even Skype.

"This is an important step and good news for patients."

7.5m patients to have increased access to their GPs

The Prime Minister has announced 7.5 million patients are going to be able to see their family doctors outside of work hours thanks to a new fund to extend GP opening times.

7.5 million patients are to have increased access to their GPs under new government plans. Credit: Press Association

David Cameron said millions of people will be offered increased access to their GP services through extended opening times and new consultation methods using video-phone services, email and phone.

The £50 million GP Access Fund will mean that patients at 1,147 GP practices across England will be able to see their family doctor outside of working hours, including late night and weekend appointments or use one of the modern consultation tools for convenience.


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