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Tories bring forward deadline for universal seven-day GP access to 2019

The Conservative Party election manifesto has pledged £8bn extra a year for the NHS, a right to remain for EU staff in the NHS and for everyone in England to have seven-day GP access by 2019.

This means the public is promised seven-day GP services one year earlier than in the Tories’ 2015 election manifesto, but the new pledge adds that at the same time, GPs should ’ensure care remains personal’.

The manifesto says: ‘We expect GPs to come together to provide greater access, more innovative services, share data and offer better facilities, while ensuring care remains personal – particularly for older and more vulnerable people – with named GPs accountable for individual patients.’

It says that the Tories will ‘support GPs to deliver innovative services that better meet patients’ needs’, which will include phone and online consultations and ‘the use of technology to triage people better so they see the right clinician more quickly’.

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The manifesto adds: ‘We will ensure appropriate funding for GPs to meet rising costs of indemnity in the short term while working with the profession to introduce a sustainable long-term solution.

’Our ambition is also to provide exceptional care to patients whenever they need it. That is why we want England to be the first nation in the world to provide a truly seven-day healthcare service. That ambition starts with primary care.

‘Already 17 million people can get routine weekend or evening appointments at either their own GP surgery or one nearby, and this will expand to the whole population by 2019.’

On EU staff, the manifesto promises to ‘ensure 140,000 NHS staff from EU countries can stay and work in the health service’.

The Tory manifesto pledges to:

  • Increase NHS spending by a minimum of £8bn over the next five years, with an increase in funding per patient every year
  • Ensure 140,000 NHS staff from EU countries can stay and work in the health service
  • Continue to increase the number of students in medical school by 1,500 per year
  • Upgrade primary care facilities, mental health clinics and hospital across England 
  • Recover the cost of treatment from people not resident in the UK by increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students
  • Implement the recommendations of the Accelerated Access Review so that patients get new drugs and treatments faster
  • Remove non-legislative barriers allowing providers to integrate care more easily
  • Ensure GPs are funded to meet the rising costs of indemnity
  • Introduce a new GP contract to ‘help develop wider primary care services’
  • Reform the ‘outdated’ regulation system for healthcare professionals
  • Work with medical schools to develop new roles and career paths in the NHS workforce
  • Give NHS staff greater access to mental health services and flexible working hours
  • Take action against abuse of NHS staff
  • Increase the number of NHS approved apps to help clinicians monitor care better
  • Expand the use of personal budgets
  • Provide weekend access to some diagnostic tests in hospitals
  • Retain the 95% A&E target to admit or discharge patients within four hours
  • Expand the remit of the CQC to cover health-related services provided by local authorities
  • Give cancer patients a definitive diagnosis within 28 days by 2020
  • Recruit up to 10,000 more mental health professionals

Source: Conservative Party election manifesto