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GPs protest at extra half-hour surgeries

GPs in Leeds are protesting against a PCT plan to force practices to keep their surgeries open for an extra half hour in the evening when trusts take over out-of-hours.

Practices say surgeries and staffing would be disrupted and safety compromised if they are forced to stay open until 6.30pm instead of the current closing time of 6pm.

LMC secretary Dr Richard Vautrey said GPs understood they had no legal right to expect the five PCTs to back down – the new contract stipulates out-of-hours starts at 6.30pm – but he hoped they would maintain the 15-year status quo as a 'gesture of goodwill'.

In return, the GPs would be willing to negotiate to

continue to provide services where there were uncertainties over funding, he added.

'The PCTs are well within their rights to stick to 6.30pm but [maintaining 6pm] would be a gesture which would find a lot of favour for ongoing implementation issues and GPs might be willing to carry on doing unresourced work.'

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