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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.’

Readers' comments (12)

  • these are flimsy ideals and will not amount to anything. when the dust settles after the next popularity contest in 2015, GPs and clinicians are left to pick up the pieces as always

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  • What the hell is wrong with our leaders?

    It's not just the obvious issue of money and not enough GPs.....what about continuity of care????

    Why is the BMA being seduced by the chattering classes and trumping access over continuity of care because you cannot have both!!!!!!

    The BMA should be telling the government that with all the money in the world, this is WRONG.

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  • Ivan Benett

    It is clear that we need more GP (and nurse) capacity in Primary Care if we are to manage more out of hospital and retain continuity and provide access. They are not mutually exclusive, of course. In terms of GP capacity, this wont happen over night but during the transition over the next 2-5 years we can be training more of the medical students in GP as the need for hospital specialists declines. Future GP can also retain their specialist interest and deliver it in Primary care (whilst remaining generalists). I and others do this already as a GPwSI in cardiology.
    It really is simple conceptually, more difficult to implement. Some of these anonymous gloom merchants should really wake up, smell the coffee, and then get on with implementing the changes. The RCGP include, who seem to be barking from the sidelines, rather than joining in the show. Besides, those more forward looking younger GPs are seeing the potential for generating new incomes streams. So please all you anonymous - I'm gonna leave the NHS and to hell with it all - contributors, join the 21st Century and be positive. This is the glorious age of Primary Care. Be part of it. Ivan

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  • It's simple - resign as per dentists, than they will listen

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  • Given the nature of the announcement (no discussion about workload, no discussion about scaling funding, trying to introduce 12h x 7/7 and at the same time 24h responsibility etc) this needed a really strong rebuttal. This is an insanely weak response considering what the government are suggesting.

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  • @anonuymous 9.16.I agree entirely.This explains why unfortunately some of us are not as optimistic as Ivan Bennett would like us to be.

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  • Ivan - if I am spreading myself more thinly over an 84 hour consulting time frame instead of a 36 hour one, how easy do you think it would be for a patient to see me on a regular basis for their non urgent problems? And how many more GPs do you think would be required to make this work, especially as virtually all of us ( including you as a GPsWI) are sick to death of coal face general practice for all our working hours. ( and that's not even taking into account the large numbers of part time females coming through)

    We are in an economic deficit and yet these clowns are coming along and telling us to serve the health of the nation in much the same way as I can pop in to Tesco and do my shopping.

    It's all for votes and anyone that agrees with it needs to do some basic maths to work out what it will cost to the country.

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  • Explain to me how continuity can be maintained
    By having 8-8 working?
    Is this to be a 84 hour working week?

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  • what's the difference between this and Darzi centres ??which have been a disaster from outset and virtually all have closed down or changed their ways of working. I share premises with a Darzi centre and know how their service works , i for one would never register my family with a Darzi centre because of the service you get despite its opening hours and 'access' . I'll be the first person to leave my 2 doctor practice and start doing locums, work where and when I want to , not having to worry about CCG, LES, DES, Patient surveys, 'heart sinks' etc .

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  • extremely disappointed with Dr Nagpaul's response .
    I totally agree with Shaba Nabi 10:45 ' The BMA should be telling the government that with all the money in the world, this is WRONG.'

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