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CCGs must “ensure every patient has access to 7-day services by 2020”


5 October 2015

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Seven-day care from 8am to 8pm will be included in a new voluntary GP contract that will be developed by April 2017, the Prime Minister pledged.

One aim of the contract is “making sure that people in our country can get access to a GP on seven day a week basis, 8am to 8pm” David Cameron said on the Andrew Marr show yesterday.

Seven-day care from 8am to 8pm will be included in a new voluntary GP contract that will be developed by April 2017, the Prime Minister pledged.

One aim of the contract is “making sure that people in our country can get access to a GP on seven day a week basis, 8am to 8pm” David Cameron said on the Andrew Marr show yesterday.

In the government’s new mandate to NHS England it will require that they and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) should ensure that every patient has access to seven-day services by 2020. The Department of Health will be setting out clear milestones for delivery in the coming months.

The government “will be publishing a new GP contract to get rid of the box-ticking and the form filling”, Cameron added, which the Department of Health explained would mean that “micro-management of GPs’ work through the Quality and Outcomes Framework and other sorts of old-fashioned bureaucracy will be scrapped.”

Speaking on the eve of the Conservative party conference, Cameron said: “We want a seven-day NHS because your children don't get ill between 9-5 on a Monday to Friday.

“I think a seven-day NHS is a really exciting prospect because parents and people in our country want to access the NHS on a seven-day basis. Let me be clear, that doesn't mean that all staff in NHS have to work every seven days, it just means the services are available.

“So I can announce today that we will be publishing a new GP contract to get rid of the box ticking and the form filling. This new contract will really focus on making sure that people in our country can get access to a GP on a seven-day-a-week basis, 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening. That's what we want to see,” he added.

A statement from the Department of Health (DH) explained that the key principles of the new contract will be: more money for primary care; more control for GPs over the way they work; more time to care for patients, and services 7 days a week.

The new contract will be offered to federations or practices that cover populations of at least 30,000 patients, the DH clarified. 

The government is also committing £750 million over the next three years to fund improvements in premises, technology and modern ways of working, such as supporting federations and larger practices in providing 7-day services through a flexible range of face-to-face, telephone, email and Skype consultations.

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