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Pulse weekly: Open it and they will come...

Pulse editor Steve Nowottny looks back at the week’s events including seven-day opening, Christmas hours and GPs opiniong of chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field…

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Open it and they will come…

Seven-day opening is once again back in the news, with NHS England due to reveal tomorrow exactly how GPs can apply for a share of a £50m fund which will allow nine areas to trial expanded access. But new figures disclosed this week by existing pilots have reignited the debate over whether offering patients routine appointments on a Saturday and a Sunday really makes sense.

Thousands of patients have already attended at the weekend in the first few weeks of the scheme in Durham, prompting CCG leaders to hail it as a success. But the dozens of comments we’ve had on the story suggest many GPs are sceptical, questioning whether patients are really being diverted from A&E or whether they are simply attending at the weekend because they can – open it and they will come, if you like. Read our recent analysis on whether the Prime Minister can really get GPs to open all hours, then join the debate here.

Quote Of The Week

‘Tiny numbers of very poor practices are letting down their patients …. It is unfortunate and I guess inevitable the press have

focused on those

Chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field on coverage of the CQC’s inspections report

 

Other big stories this week include an escalation in the Christmas opening row, an unexpected funding boost for the ‘named clinician’ role and of course maggot-gate (you can read the full results of our survey showing what GPs think of the CQC and chief inspector of general practice Professor Steve Field here).

New CPD modules on Pulse Learning include key questions on prostate cancer and challenges in dermatology (both free), whilst our GP brainbox of the year quiz offers you the chance to showcase your clinical know-how and even possibly win a Samsung Galaxy Tab as well.

And finally, have you tried to refer a patient for hip or knee replacement surgery lately? Well, Copperfield has – and frankly it’s an obstacle course

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