12 June

After pilots being run of a 7 Day NHS, GP Online have discussed one success and one failure.

The Greater Manchester area had a huge success with their pilot reducing 8% of flow to A&E. The success means that they want to implement a 7-Day NHS by the end of 2015. The scheme will be extended to cover 2.8 million people.

The success rate of Great Manchester trialing the scheme meant that they were equal to a saving of £425,000. Bury’s scheme showed a 38% reduction in GP out-of-hours use and improved patient satisfaction.

Chief officer for Greater Manchester health and social care devolution, Ian Williamson, said: ‘Devolution hasn’t created these new seven-day systems of working – but it can help to propel those results quicker across Greater Manchester, through a cemented regional partnership, increased freedoms and flexibilities to make local decisions – and less bureaucratic impediments.’ [1]

However Yorkshire also attempted the scheme but had to close down early due to lack of patient demand.

The RCGP warned that the decision showed that seven-day GP services would not be valued in all areas across England, calling into question prime minister David Cameron’s pledge to roll out seven-day access to GPs nationwide by 2020.

Dr McCarron-Nash warned; ‘Holes are opening up in other parts of the service,’ she said. ‘Ethically that is extremely dubious. You are destabilising in-hours services for a service that isn’t even having its slots filled. What a waste of taxpayers’ money”.

Clearly the scheme is only needed in the patient demand areas that may truly benefit from it. However with a shortage of GP’s there needs to be a process to ensure they are found and placed in the right area.

However;

RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker 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 CCGs 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.’ [2]

We want to know what you think; is the scheme worthwhile in particular areas? Or do we need look at why there is higher patient demands?

Let us know your thoughts.

[1] Gponline.com,. ‘Seven-Day GP Service For 2.8M Patients In Manchester Devolution Plan | Gponline’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 June 2015.

[2] Gponline.com,. ‘Seven-Day GP Pilots Branded Unethical As Yorkshire Service Closes | Gponline’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 June 2015.

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