48-hour access still a sticking point
Whether GPs can provide longer consultations and 48-hour access is still proving to be a major sticking point in the GP contract negotiations.
Dr Colin Hunter, head of the expert group looking at evidence for the framework, revealed at the conference that the two issues were 'at the moment unresolved'. He said his team had to return the problem to be resolved by the main contract negotiating team.
Mike Farrar, lead negotiator for the NHS Confederation, said some GPs would be able to achieve both better access and longer consultations without any trade-off.
'We are asking GPs to manage their time and resources in the best way possible to deliver the sort of earnings that are appropriate to them,' he said.
'We're putting it to GPs to say how they want to deliver the quality of service and it's down to the practice.'
The GPC has consistently said 48-hour access is not evidence based and has no place in the quality markers.