We think very carefully before committing these funds. But I am convinced that investing in general practice so that family doctors can continue to provide high-quality services, but with less stress and fewer demands on their time, is the right thing to do. The proposals we have made to improve GP out-of-hours services are geared to achieving this. As well as the new money, they give family doctors the opportunity to transfer their out-of-hours responsibility to other local GPs; they give real support to GPs who wish to work together to share out-of-hours duties; they protect the position of rural doctors; and they offer an education initiative to help patients make good and appropriate use of local GP services.
I look forward to continuing discussions with GP leaders so that we can achieve our shared aim of improving services.
Minister for Health
Department of Health
London, SW1Reuse content