UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has welcomed a decision by General Physicians to extend surgery opening hours. British Medical Association saw 92% of GPs votes supporting UK Government proposals to include extra sessions in the evening and at weekends.
In a Downing Street statement, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:
“I welcome this commitment from GPs to extend opening into evenings and weekends and improve access to vital GP services for millions of patients. These improvements are critical if the NHS is to deliver a more personal service and better focus on preventing ill health at an early stage. Our task is now to work with GPs to implement these reforms”
The Prime Minister described the changes, which will begin in April, as a “big improvement in service for the general public”. Patients will “start to see its effect almost immediately,” he said.
Mr Brown predicted public support for the extended service, which allows them to see a doctor “when they need to, at the time they want to”. In 2006 a GP survey revealed that nearly 6.5 million patients were dissatisfied with the opening hours of their local practice.
Primary care is currently receiving record levels of investment, with average pay for GPs rising by 55 per cent since 2002/03.
Source: 10 Downing Street, UK