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Home Industry News GP leader slams ‘bullying approach’ from DoH

GP leader slams ‘bullying approach’ from DoH

21st August 2007

It has been claimed that – despite widespread satisfaction with access to GP services confirmed by an 11 million pound government survey – the Department of Health (DoH) has adopted a “bullying approach” to practitioners.

The recently-published GP Patient Survey reports that 84 per cent of patients are satisfied with access to GP services, with seven per cent wanting weekend opening and four per cent desiring access to services in the evening.

Following media reports of a strongly-worded letter to local NHS groups form the director of commissioning at the DoH, the British Medical Association (BMA) has reported disquiet from GPs regarding a lack of consultation on future plans.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the GP committee of the BMA, said: “Family doctor practice opening hours are agreed with the government and were established after long and careful negotiations.

“There are already provisions in place for primary care organisations who want to resource extra opening.”

He added that “very few” surgeries have made use of these provisions as they are a wasteful use of resources and result in a reduction of care during the day – when he claims most patients prefer to be treated.

Last month, health secretary Alan Johnson announced a new package of plans to reduce inequalities in access to GP services across England to address “significant pockets of dissatisfaction”.

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