Table 2

Department of Health's rationale for 7-day general practice services and the concerns of the Royal College of General Practitioners

Department of Health127Royal College of General Practitioners10
  • This is about responding to the fact that the public now do expect a seven day NHS

  • The role and purpose of seven day primary care is about much more than convenience—it is about making sure precious hospital capacity is kept clear for those who really need it

  • This is a manifesto commitment that this government made, so we have to honour that, but it's part of a much bigger strategy which is a massive increase in the capacity of general practice

  • We live in a 24/7 society, and we need GPs to find new ways of working so they can offer appointments at times that suit hard-working people

  • Evidence that seven day access is being called for by patients, or that it provides an effective use of NHS resources is, at best, mixed

  • It is unrealistic to talk about extending routine services at the current time because general practice is hugely overstretched and under-resourced

  • The promise of seven day access to routine GP care has further damaged morale and is likely to discourage many medical graduates from choosing general practice

  • We are concerned that the proposal to provide seven day GP access to routine care could jeopardise continuity of care

  • Text is directly quoted from the given references.

  • GP, general practitioner; NHS, National Health Service.