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In full: NHS England letter on practice opening hours over Christmas

NHS England has set out its final stance on practices’ opening hours over Christmas. Head of primary care Dr David Geddes has written to area teams to explain why practices will have to open as usual on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve

Click here to read the full letter

Readers' comments (12)

  • Dr Geddes finishes his letter by saying 'but I am more than happy to chat further if useful'
    perhaps we should all ring him for a 'chat'

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  • Lookalikes: Has anyone noticed the astonishing similarity between the newly-moustachioed Dr David Geddes, & front-line workforce hating Blakey from 70s sitcom, On The Buses?

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  • as John says but at 18.29 on the 24th december

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  • John and PG - beat me to it!

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  • Will NHS England have anyone in their offices until 18.30pm on 24th & 31st December?? I pretty much doubt it...!

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  • So if we stay open until 18.30pm in anticipation of a random patient staggering out of the pub to collect a prescription, where exactly will the patient go to have their prescriptions filled? All of our local pharmacies are closing by 16.00pm at the latest.

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  • what a calm and wise visage that man possesses, surely the spirit of Christmas is close by him always.

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  • yes I AGREE. it should open as normal 6.30 pm. WHY NOT?

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  • as I now work entirely in the OOH service I would be pleased to see this happen but would suggest that practices will continue to give advice deferring patients & informing them to call 111 if problems persist beyond 1830.This is usual weekend regime in most practices in the northeast

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  • I thought it could not get any worse, but NHS England has finally squeezed the final drop of goodwill out of the system.

    I would suggest that if NHS England are fixated on sicking to the wording of the contract and enforcing it as strongly as possible in their favour, GPs should be doing the same.

    I for one will be spending the afternoon of the 24th, when there are no patients around, planning which services do not lie strictly within our contract and as such should be immediately dispatched to A+E. For a start:

    Minor injuries, emergency phlebotomy, post op suture removal, post of reviews, anything suggested that I follow up on a discharge summary and anyone who requests a prescription after attending hospital clinics.

    DOI: It does not affect me, we do not have the option of a deputising service, but I just think it shows a lack of awareness/ appreciation for the hard work practices do outside their contracts.

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