David Cameron has promised that GP surgeries in England will be open seven days a week by 2020, if he is re-elected.
Speaking ahead of his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference, Mr Cameron said: 'People need to be able to see their GP at a time that suits them and their family. That's why we will ensure everyone can see a GP seven days a week by 2020. We will also support thousands more GP practices to stay open longer – giving millions of patients better access to their doctor.' Surgeries will also have extended opening times of 8am to 8pm, he said.
Practices are being invited to bid for funds now for 2015/16, to begin running the extended service next year.
Mr Cameron also rejected Labour's plans to guarantee a general practice appointment within 48 hours, saying it had been 'tried-and-failed'.
The Conservatives have also outlined plans that would see all patients in England receiving a dedicated GP personally accountable for coordinating their care, and supporting their physical and mental health needs. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: 'I understand the pressures that general practice is facing with an ageing population, but we want to make sure that all patients get personalised care tailored to their physical and mental health needs, supporting people to live healthier lives.'
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