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Doubts on White Paper's pledges

GPC negotiators have cast doubt on the Government's ability to bring in flagship elements of its recent Our Health, Our Care, Our Say White Paper.

The paper included proposals to extend surgery opening hours and allow patients to register near their workplace instead of home.

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, said it was still unclear what funding was available for the initiatives. He warned that even with the money, the plans were still 'challenging' to bring to fruition.

The Department of Health had not given any 'serious thought' to the ability of patients to receive a home visit if they were registered near their workplace, Dr Meldrum said.

He added it was also unclear how many practices were expected to extend opening hours or whether practices with extended opening hours would be expected to provide a full range of services or emergency care.

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