11 June 2015

RCGP Response to Seven-Day GP Access Pilot Decision

Responding to the decision by NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group to suspend seven-day access due to a lack of patient demand, Professor Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: 

“Seven day access to GP surgeries will be used and valued in some areas, but not everywhere, which is why it is essential that Clinical Commissioning Groups have the autonomy to tailor services to the needs of their local population.

“The Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund is a welcome source of funding for general practice at a time when resources are scare and we have a severe shortage of family doctors. But GPs should be free to use these resources where they are most needed, in the best interests of their patients which, for some communities will involve offering seven-day access, and in others won’t.

"Access to GP services is extremely important but prioritising weekend and evening access must not come at the expense of access and services during normal hours so that patients end up worse off.

“The RCGP is calling for general practice to receive 11% of the overall NHS budget and for 8000 more family doctors in England over the course of the next parliament. This would allow us to offer more, and more flexible, consultations to our patients when they need them, in the community, where they want care most.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.