This site is intended for health professionals only

Cameron: GP out-of-hours opt out ‘regrettable’

19 May 2014

Share this article

Prime Minister David Cameron “regrets” the 2004 contract changes which allowed GPs to opt out of out-of-hours working. 

Speaking during Prime Minister’s question time, Cameron (pictured) said that access to GP appointments has improved since the coalition came to power in 2010. 

In response to a question on whether he regretted scrapping the 48-hour access target, he said: “The Royal College of General Practitioners says that there are something like 40 million more GP appointments since 2010. The patient survey, which was always quoted by Labour ministers, states that 93% of people say that appointments in the GP system are convenient.

“Frankly, I want more. As the father of three young children, I know how important it is to get timely GP appointments. That is why we are training 5,000 more GPs, why we now have named GPs for frail and elderly people, and why 1,000 GP centres are now open from 8 am to 8 pm and at weekends.” 

He said he “regret[s] the fact that the last Labour Government signed a contract with the GPs that meant that they did not have to offer a service out of hours or at the weekend.”