12:37 01 October 2013
Prime Minister David Cameron has told the BBC that there are many hard working people who find it very difficult to make an appointment with GPs because of their work schedule. For this reason, he promises more flexible GP hours, namely evening and weekend hours.
Under the scheme, which will be tested in nine areas in England, surgeries will be able to bid for funding to open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. The prime minister hopes that the £50m project will help doctors “fit in with work and family life.”
Mr Cameron also promises patients with “flexible access.” This may mean that they can consult with GPs using email, telephone, or Skype.
Cameron told the BBC: "Many hard working people find it difficult to take time off to get that GP appointment, so having these pilot schemes... is, I think, a very positive step forward.
"It also links to the problems we have seen in our accident and emergency departments because the number of people going to A&E departments is up by four million since the changes to the GP contract that Labour put in in 2004.
"What we need to do is enable the right people with the right ailments, as it were, to either go to a GP or to accident and emergency."
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