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New GP contract to include seven-day access requirement, PM announces

Seven-day access will form part of a new voluntary GP contract to be published by the Government, the Prime Minister has announced.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show today, David Cameron announced that the Government ‘will be publishing a new GP contract to get rid of the box-ticking and the form filling’.

Instead, he said, it will focus on ‘making sure that people in our country can get access to a GP on seven day a week basis, 8am to 8pm’.

The contract will be voluntary and offered to practices or federations covering at least 30,000 patients. 

The BMA has said that this has not been discussed with them, 

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens also issued a statement saying that they are developing a new voluntary contract for practices to expand and provide primary and secondary care by April 2017.

Mr Cameron told Andrew Marr: ‘I can announce today that we will be publishing a new GP contract to get rid of the box-ticking and the form filling.

‘I don’t think anyone is happy with the GP contract, so this new contract will focus on making sure that people in our country can get access to a GP on seven day a week basis, 8am to 8pm, that’s what we want to see.’

He added: ‘Already because of the steps we have taken, a third of people are accessing the NHS on that basis by next year, but we want it for everybody and that new GP contract will help deliver that.’

A DH press statement said: ’The new contract will be voluntary, with federations or practices that cover populations of at least 30,000 patients.

It added: ’The new contract will be offered to GPs on a phased basis, starting with those groups of GPs that are most ready to work in this new way and building on the success of the pioneering Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund for GP access and the NHS vanguards.’

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said that the announcement was ’not discussed with the BMA’, and does ’nothing to address the root causes of the pressures on general practice’. 

He referenced Pulse’s investigation last week showing that due to poor uptake of seven-day services, eight of the original 18 ‘Challenge Fund’ pilots have reducing their opening hours.

He said: ’The Government must learn from its own pilot schemes where there have been a number of examples of weekend appointments having little or no pick up by patients. These proposals could waste precious NHS resources and divert staff and funds from overstretched core GP services.

’While getting rid of the box ticking of QOF is something the BMA has long been calling for, this should apply to all practices. It would be wholly wrong if this is being used as a carrot to only benefit patients for those practices considering the new GP contract.

’Crucially, we do not need the diversion of a new contract, we need proper levels of investment in GP services, and thousands more GPs and staff to keep up with the sheer number of patients coming through the door in order to provide safe, quality care.’

The announcement comes a Pulse investigation last week showing that due to poor uptake of seven-day services, eight of the original 18 ‘Challenge Fund’ pilots have reducing their opening hours.

At the same time, Mr Stevens announced that a new ‘voluntary’ GP contract will be developed to enable practices to work in bigger groupings and follow the lead of some of the ‘vanguard’ projects around the country that are piloting providing a wider range of secondary care and community services.

He said: ‘Many family doctors are now… wanting to pool their sovereignty and work in federations, super practices and our new vanguard care models.

’To support that, they are asking NHS England for a new contract option, which will combine core general practice with wider primary community and health services, serving larger populations.

‘So NHS England will now work with GPs – through the vanguard programme and beyond – to develop a new voluntary contract by April 2017.’

NHS England said in July that GPs would be offered ‘simple and attractive’ conditions to encourage them away from the national contract and join the ‘new models of care’ that are being tested across the country.

 

 

 

Readers' comments (45)

  • I suppose it could be said that everyone has access to a GP 24/7 - via daytime practice and OOH. Mr Cameron is obviously looking at a reduction in this. However I assume he means that the patient's own surgery will be open. Fine - suspect plenty will be shut, permanently

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  • This is the definition of slavery from the Oxford english dictionary

    (Especially in the past) a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them:
    he killed the natives or turned them into slaves
    MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES
    SYNONYMS
    1.1A person who works very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation:
    by the time I was ten, I had become her slave, doing all the housework
    MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES
    SYNONYMS
    1.2A person who is excessively dependent upon or controlled by something:
    the poorest people of the world are slaves to the banks
    she was no slave to fashion
    MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES
    1.3A device, or part of one, directly controlled by another:
    [AS MODIFIER]: a slave cassette deck
    Compare with master1.
    MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES
    verb

    [NO OBJECT] Back to top
    1Work excessively hard:
    after slaving away for fourteen years all he gets is two thousand
    MORE EXAMPLE SENTENCES
    SYNONYMS
    1.1 [WITH OBJECT] Subject (a device) to control by another:
    should the need arise, the two channels can be slaved together
    MORE EXAMP

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  • Vinci Ho

    Very calculated speech:

    '‘I don’t think anyone is happy with the GP contract, so this new contract will focus on making sure that people in our country can get access to a GP on seven day a week basis, 8am to 8pm, that’s what we want to see.’'

    The first part of anyone not being happy can be interpreted in different ways.
    The second part of getting access to 'a' GP is coming with insurance policy for himself just in case .

    Darth Vader , you are 'hell' of a bloody politician ......

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  • my passport is ready.

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  • Just waiting for our well known pioneer to pipe up and give his full support to Cameron's supermarket style expansion of the free 'eat all you can' Buffett approach to General Practice.

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  • Bob Hodges

    In my professional and considered opinion, I expect this to be a load of sheight.

    I wouldn't consider going out on a contractual limb and moving away from GMS no matter how 'generous' the initial terms. The likelihood of getting utterly shafted by this crooked bunch of charlatans masquerading as a government at the earliest possible opportunity is too great.

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  • Saw the show and almost choked on my breakfast. This guy is plain bonkers and going deeper into the hole he himself has dug.

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  • Terribly nice of DC to give such a lovely boost to Welsh, Ulster, Scottish, new Zealand, Australian and Canadian recruitment.
    I do feel sorry for the people in the GMC who print out CCPS certificates. I do hope they employ someone extra to help out.

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  • 'Ministers are hiding details of £2bn NHS cash crisis' .... but yet the ideological March continues, getting ready to do a lot more for less.

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  • I knew the cavalry weren't coming, but still quite a shock to see the Porcine Fan spout his deluded crap this morning. I spent Sunday drafting my notice to my partners. I am 52, my mortgage is paid, my pension maxed out a year ago and I have no kids. He can shove it. I will open a little cafe by the seaside and do a locum or three in the off season. Time to think the unthinkable or get shafted till you bleed. Good luck everyone.

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