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GP practices on course to open seven days as Tories reach majority



GP practices are on course for seven-day opening as the Conservative Party secured a Parlimentary majority in yesterday’s general election.

The party secured the 326 seats it needed for a majority, without the need to strike a deal with other parties.

David Cameron will stay on as Prime Minister, while health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s South West Surrey constituency has re-elected him with a 60% clear majority.

GP candidate Dr Louise Irvine, standing against Mr Hunt for the National Health Action Party, has received just 8.5% of the vote, finishing behind both the local UKIP and Labour candidates.

Conservative health minister Dr Dan Poulter was re-elected with 56% of the vote in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, while the Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb retained his seat in North Norfolk with 39% of the vote.

GP candidate Dr Sarah Wollaston, the most recent chair of the House of Commons Health Committee, has secured a clear victory in her Totnes, Devon, constituency, with local media reporting that she is 18,000 votes clear of her nearest challenger, a UKIP candidate.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham was re-elected in is Leigh constituencty with 54% majority, but has lost his chance of a place in the next Government.

As previously reported, the Conservative manifesto made the extraordinary claim that patients would gain access seven days a week to their own GP.

It was later clarified that this did not mean GPs would have to work every day of the week but was conflating the policies of seven-day access to ‘a GP’ by 2020 and the extension of the named clinician scheme to all patients.

Other Tory policies for the next five years include same-day GP appointments for patients over 75 and a promise of an additional £8bn per year spend on the NHS by 2020 over and above inflation to support the NHS Five Year Forward View recommendations.

The Conservative Party’s NHS policies:

  • continue to increase spending on the NHS, supported by a strong economy, so the NHS stays free for you to use
  • spend at least an additional £8bn by 2020 over and above inflation to fund and support the NHS’s own action plan for the next five years
  • ensure you can see a GP and receive the hospital care you need, seven days a week by 2020, with a guarantee that everyone over 75 will get a same-day appointment if they need one
  • integrate health and social care, through our Better Care Fund
  • lead the world in fighting cancer and finding a cure for dementia

Source: Conservative Party 2015 election manifesto