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Quarter of extended GP appointments unfilled as policy rolls out nationally


The issue that the powers that be seem to be missing is that the demand is not for the timing of the appointment, but for the regular GP. If the appointments being offered were with the regular GP, they'd be filled like a shot - all our internal extended hours apps are taken, and we often see very elderly patients at 7am saying they would have preferred a daytime apt but there weren't any, and they wanted to see that particular doctor. All these extended hours pilots are on cluster or large group basis, and not staffed by the regular GPs (who are too busy chasing their own tails), but by locums. These policies are very London-centric, and prioritise the needs of the working well to the detriment of the medium and long term unwell, elderly, mental health, etc. When we have a health secretary who openly admits to using a health app which unashamedly prioritises the working well over anyone who might benefit from continuity (which we know saves lives, and reduces hospital admissions), what hope is there? Time to stop these silly, wasteful policies, plough the money back into core hours primary care to increase the number of doctor appointments in hours with regular GPs.

Posted date

01 Oct 2018

Posted time