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Thursday 24th May 2018

GPs agree to longer hours

7th March 2008

Family doctors have reluctantly agreed to open their surgeries for longer hours.


However, they have also given the government an overwhelming vote of no confidence in the way the issue has been handled.

The British Medical Association ran a survey to assess the opinion of GPs over the two options offered by ministers.

Both required an average-sized practice to open for an extra three hours a week in the evenings or on Saturday morning from April, with the difference being the amount of money linked to each proposal.

In the survey, 92% of GPs voted with their pockets and went for option A, which meant they would only lose £18,000 for not complying, compared to almost double under the second choice.

However, the BMA survey also revealed that 97% of GPs questioned did not have faith in the government.

Negotiations had broken down between the BMA and the government leading ministers to warn GPs they would impose a solution. Doctors had previously indicated they would be willing to work more hours than set out under their new contract which came into effect in April 2004, but did not want it to be as high as three a week.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made GP working hours an important aspect of preventing ill health at an early stage.

Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s GPs committee, said: “It cannot be good to have such a key part of the health workforce feeling disengaged from the way the government is handling the health service.?


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