Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA / telegraph.co.uk
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that millions of patients will benefit from plans to introduce 7-day access to both GPs and hospitals by 2020.
At the Conservative party conference, Cameron detailed the new, voluntary contract for GPs to deliver 7-day care, while 7-day hospital services will serve across the country by 2018. These are the crucial next step steps to making England the first country in the world to provide a truly 7-day health service, according to the Prime Minister.
David Cameron said: “Our plans for a truly 7-day NHS will transform services for millions of patients. It will offer hardworking taxpayers and families the security of the care they need at a time that is convenient to them. I want to pay tribute to the fantastic work of GPs and indeed all NHS staff across the country.
“I know they face huge pressures – that is why we will direct more money into primary care and clear out bureaucracy as part of the drive to develop a new contract that will be better for patients and NHS professionals, 7-days a week.”
However, doubts remain that these hopes for a 7-day NHS are unachievable in this parliament. Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth said: “You can’t trust [Cameron’s] promises on a seven day NHS – he has made them before but hasn’t delivered. What the Tories have done is take the health service backwards – under them it is harder to see your GP and waiting lists are higher.”