Dr Chaand Nagpaul: 'Without extra GPs this will not work'
Read the full response from the GPC chair on Government proposals to pilot extended GP practice opening hours at evenings and weekends.
‘GPs are always open to new ways of working that can benefit patients.
Many GP practices already offer extended opening hours and provide out of hours care to meet the needs of their local populations and provide the best quality care for patients.
Crucially, for this to work the Government needs to address issues around GP numbers and support services. Without extra GPs the existing workforce will have to be stretched over seven days, meaning potentially reduced services during the week. It will also require additional resources and investment in support and diagnostic staff such as district nurses and access to community care so GPs can meaningfully provide a full service across the week, and it remains to be seen if the money set aside will be enough to deliver this.
The BMA will be interested in the results of this pilot and are committed to working with the Government to improve access to care for patients, but the GPs will need more detail on how it will work in reality, particularly when it comes to staffing and resources.’