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Seven day GP access may not be cost effective, auditors warn

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j164 (Published 11 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j164
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

Embargoed 00:01 WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY 2017

Ministers have failed to show evidence that plans to introduce seven day access to GPs are cost effective, the government’s national spending watchdog has warned.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said that the Department of Health and NHS England had not fully considered the consequences or the expense of their plans to offer evening and weekend access to all patients and provide 5000 extra GPs by 2020.1

In a new report, the NAO describes how pilot schemes run by NHS England had attempted to test patient demand for extended opening hours and determine how they should be provided. NHS England said that this was likely to involve hubs of local practices working together.

But the NAO said, “They have not yet …

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