The government are keen for GP surgeries to open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Doctors are being told that if they fail to meet their commitments to keep surgeries open for longer, they may lose extra funding.
The initiative has come about due to higher demand for GP appointments but also to stop the increase in patients going to A&E because they are unable to book a GP appointment.
The government recently highlighted figures from the National Audit Office from October 2015 which recorded 46% of GP surgeries closed at some point during core hours, and 18% closed at or before 15:00 on at least one weekday, despite the fact that surgeries are currently expected to open between the core hours of 08:00 and 18:30, Monday to Friday.
Should surgeries open longer? Should GPs be financially penalised for not opening longer? Do you find it difficult to get a GP appointment? Have you had to go to A&E because you couldn’t get an appointment? We are keen to know what you think.