GPs demand investigation into extended hours drive
By Gareth Iacobucci
The Scottish GPC has demanded a full Government investigation into the effectiveness of the Government's controversial extended hours drive.
In a keynote speech at the annual Scottish LMC conference today, chair Dr Dean Marshall called on ministers to carry out a full review of the service, which he said had been driven purely as ‘a PR exercise'.
Dr Marshall said anecdotal evidence showed many appointments at urban GP practices were being taken up by those who could easily attend during the day, while many rural GPs were sitting idle during extended hours surgeries due to lack of demand.
Although Scottish GPs have been granted more flexibility over the terms of extended hours than their English colleagues, Dr Marshall said grievances over the need for the policy and the way it was forced upon GPs would not disappear.
Dr Marshall told delegates: ‘For whatever reason, the Government appears to be wedded to this policy. But has it been a good use of limited NHS resources?
‘In these difficult financial times, is it really appropriate for us to be wasting resources on what is effectively a PR exercise?
‘That is why I am calling on the Scottish Government to commit to a review and evaluation of extended hours services in Scotland. This well help us to answer these questions.'
Latest figures show that around 50% of Scottish GP practices currently offer extended hours, compared with over 70% of their English colleagues.GPs in Scotland have demanded an investigation into the Government's extended hours drive