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GPs hit back at Prime Minister's extended hours 'fairy tale'

A group of 100 GPs have hit back at Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge to introduce an 8am till 8pm, seven days a week GP service pointing out the offer amounts to a 60% increase in hours for a 1.1% budget increase.

The Resilient GP group, who aim to support GPs and protect them from burnout, collected signatures from fed-up GPs for an open letter to Prime Minister asking him to ‘do the maths’.

The letter explains that the extended hours pilots, primed with £50m from the PM’s Challenge Fund, have failed to deliver reduced A&E attendances and in many areas have yet to begin.

It adds: ‘Rather than try and argue those old chestnuts, perhaps we should just stick to the facts, although I appreciate politicians are not great fans of fact over fiction.

‘If practices opened 8am-8pm, seven days a week this, would be 84 hours or a 60% increase in hours per week.

‘You have pledged an extra £100m for this increase in hours. This equates to 1.1% increase in Primary Care funding for a 60% increase in workload. Do the maths, as your advisors obviously can’t. Forget the rhetoric and the arguments about doctor salaries, this fairy tale is simply not deliverable.’

At the Conservative Party Conference last week, Mr Cameron announced that everyone will be able to access a GP practice seven days a week - from 8 ‘til 8 - by 2020 if the Conservatives are returned to power at the next election, pledging £400m in ‘set up costs’ spread over the next five years to enable everyone to access a GP for 12 hours a day, every day.

Read the letter in full here


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Readers' comments (22)

  • if you haven't noticed they just don't care.

    there are about 50,000 GPs (FTE) which is a tiny voting block vs 60 million voters. they will push through what ever gets the votes.

    as the BMA, RCGP can not represent us we are left with voting with our feet - hence the crisis. We don't have another option as the BMA has denied us exploring that.

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  • Who is this "Resilient GP Group"; I extend my full support and would transfer my BMA/ RCGP fees to this group instead of "doves".

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  • From their website:

    "Resilient GP is an organisation set up to support GPs in developing working practices designed to prevent burn out and to support a highly effective primary care service that works well both for the doctors and the needs of patients.

    Resilient GP began from a meeting of minds in cyberspace of a group of doctors. It was clear to them that government health policy and recent GP training models were causing huge morale problems within general practice as well as a distinct lack of confidence in newly qualified GPs to know was the true work of an NHS GP entails and when to say no more.

    It was therefore decided to form an organisation to try to combat this. We aim to do this through one day courses, online support, possible mentoring in future as well as work through the media/trade press where necessary to lobby on behalf of GPs and work with other organisations to promote our aims on behalf of the profession."

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  • This 'tiny voting block' of 50,000 GPs would be noticed if they all resigned from NHS work.
    This is quite achievable as, unlike say cardiac surgery, GPs can be affordable to the public and can set up services in community settings without needing added funding.
    Try finding 50,000 GPs to work for the NHS at short notice.

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  • Time for another referendum by the BMA? 12% support
    last time so don't raise your hopes that many of our number will follow the flag.

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  • Resilient GP is as described above. We are very new and growing rapidly and you can find us at or on Facebook at resilientGP . Thanks for the kind words.

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  • Hussain Gandhi

    Resilient GP is about supporting each other.
    See :

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  • We are only a small voting block but if we all tell our patients the Tories really are out to destroy the present concept of the NHS and turn it into "NHS Basic" then we can influence an awful lot of votes.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Resilient GP , you are group of Jedi to confront Darth Vader.
    May the force be with you👍

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  • Mmmm force is weak with these ones. Much future there is pain . Tattooine is destroyed rebel alliance is no more . In a galaxy far far away I await a shiny bright battle star maybe Galactica to sort these cylons out
    Now where is Captain Starbucks Apollo and Adama!

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