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Independents' Day

Brown vows to achieve 100% uptake in extended hours

By Gareth Iacobucci

Every patient in the country will be given the right to see their GP outside of normal opening hours, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged.

In his keynote speech to the Labour party conference in Brighton yesterday, Mr Brown hailed the 75% uptake in practices extending their opening hours, but vowed that all patients would able to see their GP when they want in the next five years.

He told delegates: ‘We've already ensured that three quarters of our GP practices are open out of hours – and in the next five years we will ensure every patient has the right to see a GP in the evening or at the weekend.'

The Prime Minister also announced plans to bring together the National Health Service and local care provision into a new National Care Service. As part of this reform, he announced that free personal home care would be offered to those with ‘the highest needs'.

‘The best starting point for our National Care Service is to help the elderly get the amenities to do what they most want: to receive care and to stay in their homes as long as possible,' he said.

Mr Brown also confirmed his commitment to an early diagnosis guarantee for cancer patients, which will give patients access to tests within a week of seeing their GP.

Extended hours

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