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David Cameron announces new pilot scheme extending GP surgery hours

Posted on 1 October 2013

GP Surgery Hours, Dr's Coat. Pardoes

Blog posted by Jennifer Harris, Paralegal, Pardoes' Medical Negligence Team 

David Cameron has today announced plans to extend GP surgery hours by piloting a scheme in 9 areas of the country.

Under the proposals, GP surgeries will open from 8am to 8pm in a bid to provide more flexible working hours that suit patients work and family commitments. I do wonder how GPs will react to this, as they no doubt struggle with an already cumbersome workloads and increased patient pressure.

However, these plans are certainly interesting and show a real move to adapting to today’s society. I have experienced the frustration of taking time off work to obtain a simple prescription, or the need to wait endlessly at a Walk-In Centre when I have fallen ill at the weekend. The suggestions that have been made even show a desire to move towards email contact with GPs and even Skype consultations, although I think that this may be a step too far where medical issues and people’s lives are at stake. I’m not sure I would feel I had really had the best consultation with my GP over e-mail, and this may add further pressure to GPs and reduce the level of patient care.

Following the criticisms of out of hours care, and in particular in relation to NHS Direct (now NHS 111) it is unsurprising that proposals are being made for a dramatic overhaul of the system. The proposals will also relieve some pressure on over-stretched Accident and Emergency Departments which I hope in turn will improve the care provided in our hospitals.

As medical negligence solicitors, we are only too aware of the devastating impact poor quality out of hours care can have, or the implications of being unable to access medical care when you need it. If you believe you may have a claim in relation to out of hours care, or any medical treatment you have received please contact us for an initial free consultation on 0800 862 0442 or fill in our enquiry form and we will call you back.

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