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Labour says seven-day GP service plans are ‘simply not credible’

Labour shadow health minister Andrew Gwynne has hit out at David Cameron’s plans for a seven-day NHS, branding the plans as ‘simply not credible’.

Mr Gwynne stressed that the NHS needs extra resources and staff to be able to operate a seven-day NHS service, particularly in general practice where the Conservative Party had created a GP workforce ‘crisis’.

‘The Tories promised they would deliver seven-day services in the last parliament and they failed to deliver,’ said Mr Gwynne.

In fact, for many people access to NHS services has got worse in recent years, with over one in four people now waiting a week or more to see or speak to a GP.’

Mr Gwynne’s comments came after GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul’s warning today about operating a seven-day NHS.

He used his opening speech at the LMCs Conference to describe moves towards seven-day service as ‘political pipe dreams’.

Dr Nagpaul warned that patient demand, declining recruitment and lack of investment in general practice, which is the ‘foundation stone’ of the health service, could lead to the collapse of the wider NHS.

He said: ‘This is not just a perfect storm, but an absolute hurricane … a hurricane that will destroy the whole fabric of the NHS if the Government does not act swiftly.’

Earlier this month Prime Minister David Cameron used the first speech since the election to promise a new a ‘new deal’ for GPs, which would help create seven-day GP access for all.