21 May

Since the recent conservative win in the election David Cameron wasted no time in diving head first into the discussion of creating a seven day a week NHS. However this has caused a stir amongst healthcare professionals, especially GPC Chairman Dr Nagpaul.

However numerous people have the same view. As a medical recruitment company we saw many people upset with the conservative win. However we also saw others excited by the premises of a seven day NHS and GP Surgeries opening up to 8am – 8pm.

The conservatives have promised a recruit of 5,000 extra GP’s which would help drive their new plans. However some GP’s believe this to be impossible.

Dr Nagpaul said;

“I call upon the prime minister to jettison the political pipe dreams of tomorrow and get real about how we resource, resuscitate and rebuild general practice today. It’s absolutely pointless promising 5,000 extra GPs within this parliament if we lose 10,000 GPs retiring in the same period.”

Dr Nagpaul is joining those on the pessimistic side who wants a realistic change and wants it now. He went on further to say;

“Ministers must halt their surreal obsession for practices to open seven days when there aren’t the GPs to even cope with current demands…The newly elected government must wake up to this alarming reality not only because it will fail dismally in its manifesto pledge for 5,000 extra GPs, but crucially because unless it turns this around we won’t have a comprehensive general practice service in parts of the UK.

However fighting the success of the new plans was The Department of Health who said it was an “overly negative, pessimistic view…Thousands of GPs across the country are already offering patients GP access seven days a week – by next March, a third of the country will be covered.”

If that is true than perhaps the seven days a week GP access is something professionals believe to be important and a vital step in progressing past this current healthcare crisis.

They went on further to say;

“We have made it very clear that we will train 5,000 more GPs and have backed the NHS’s own plan for the future by investing the £8bn it needs to transform care closer to home.”

The question we ask is – do we stay focused on this long term goal? Or is the state of Primary Care too dyer to afford waiting any longer for change that could happen now?

Please let us know your thoughts if you think a 7 day NHS is possible, and is it the way forward?

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