Intended for healthcare professionals


Angry GPs hit back at PM over seven day service threats

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 16 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j259
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The prime minister, Theresa May, has met with an angry backlash from GPs after she threatened to withhold funding from general practices that did not offer their patients longer opening hours.

GPs accused the government of scapegoating the profession and ignoring the true causes of the pressures across the NHS in England, after practices were warned through a series of inflammatory headlines in the national media that funding for extending their opening hours could be withheld unless they could prove that they were informing their patients of additional appointment slots and offering appointments at convenient times.123

May’s intervention came as the government came under growing pressure to tackle the growing crisis in hospital emergency departments by reducing the number of patients visiting.4

But GPs said that the prime minister was attempting to shift the blame away from the government and was wilfully ignoring the …

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