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Independents' Day

Minister warns of action to stop GPs' access ploy

The Government is considering action to stop GPs 'wilfully misinterpreting' the 48-hour access target by banning

patients from booking appointments in advance.

A ministerial source told Pulse the Department of Health was 'increasingly concerned' at reports some GPs were not allowing patients to book more than two days in advance. The source said: 'This was not our intention at all. Action may have to be taken to deal with it.'

GPC joint-deputy chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said the threat was 'very unfortunate and inflammatory'.

The source also confirmed the department was looking 'very carefully' at allowing

patients to register with more than one GP practice at a


'John Reid's main buzzword since coming in has been choice ­ and he means patient choice, not manager choice ­ so this is something that obviously chimes with that,' said the source.

'It is definitely being look-ed at very carefully,' the source added.

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