Doctors brand flagship seven day scheme a 'shocking' waste of NHS cash

Mail Online | 10/1/2018 | Sophie Borland for the Daily Mail
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Patients are failing to book weekend GP appointments that are being rolled out in a flagship NHS scheme, figures reveal.

In one area, just 3 per cent of Sunday consultations have been filled on average in 18 months.

Regions - Quarter - Slots - Saturdays

Other regions reported a quarter of these slots being taken, although Saturdays were more popular.

Doctors say patients do not want to spend time at weekends seeing a GP and would rather wait until Monday unless it is an emergency.

Average - Cent - Evening - Weekend - Slots

An average of 25 per cent of evening and weekend slots were unfilled over the past 18 months at a cost of at least £15million, according to figures obtained by Pulse, the magazine for GPs.

From today, health trusts across England will have to offer GP appointments seven days a week as part of a pledge by David Cameron.

Minister - GP - Access - Scheme - A

The then-prime minister launched the ‘seven-day GP access scheme’ in 2014 to try to help A&E units and it has been gradually expanded.

But each appointment slot costs the NHS £30 to £50 regardless of whether patients show up or not and doctors have branded the scheme a ‘shocking’ waste of cash.

Figures

The figures show...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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