Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Conservative GP Pledge

A Conservative government will guarantee a GP in your area from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week

At present, many people cannot see a GP when they need to because Labour took responsibility for access to primary care outside normal working hours from family doctors and gave it to bureaucrats in Primary Care Trusts.

Nearly a quarter of GP practices are now closed beyond the normal surgery hours of 8am to 6:30pm, five days a week.

A Conservative government will give people the certainty they need: our 2010 manifesto (which is being rolled out on Tuesday in Westminster - I am attending so details to follow on a blog post) includes plans to change GPs’ contracts to ensure that everyone has access to a GP in their area from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. And responsibility for managing how patients access care outside of normal surgery opening hours will be given back to GPs.

Still on health, I was very shocked to hear about these Labour campaign tactics, I mean, how low can you stoop:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7094308.ece

7 Comments:

Blogger Rogue Economist said...

Firstly that is great to hear about the extended opening times, it is ridiculous you cant get sick on the weekends without seeing a locum that has been shown detrimental to health!!
As for Labour tactics I wan't aware how sick their tactics were until I read your link, thanks for letting me know just how desperate Labour are, campaign yes, dirty tricks that cause suffering to the vulnerable, disgusting.

8:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you propose to pay for the extra costs involved in opening GP surgeries for longer..payment to GPs, practice nurses, receptionists etc. ?

GPs have become increasingly involved in treating minor illnesses that patients have previously been able to manage themselves eg. minor coughs and colds. There is simply no need for longer opening hours. This will simply encourage more unnecessary consultations. Emergencies are dealt with with A&E departments. minor injury units etc.

9:19 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is going to pay for all these initiatives? Not only extra GPs required, as they can hardly work a 84 hour week, but all the extra administrative support costs, e.g. nurses, receptionists? Hardly a well thought out policy.

12:16 pm  
Blogger Karen Allen said...

The NHS is a huge priority for us. We want to see first class health care to provided to everyone. We live in a 24 hour society. Many people work longer hours than before, they work shifts or have childcare arrangements and we need to ensure we provide public services to fit the moderns lifestyles of NHS users who ultimately are paying for these services. Everyone has the right to access health care.
Having to attend a surgery between 9 and 4pm can also be disruptive for businesses as employees often have to miss work to visit a surgery during these times. Our Policy will ease this bottleneck.
NHS Direct is there to treat the colds and minor ailments and is working very well. Far fewer people attend surgeries for minor problems since the implementation of NHS Direct.
Our proposal is not about making Doctors work 84 hour weeks, it's about providing flexibility. Doctors will work their weekly hours around appointment demand at the surgery.

7:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As 60% of GPs are now women, how do you expect those women to work around their childcare arrangements, providing a service that is only wanted by a minority of the population and the tabloid press.

12:42 pm  
Blogger Karen Allen said...

Anon - our GP pledge is intended to provide flexible working and living, to respond to the demand of patients. For sure in different areas of the country the demand will be different and in some areas there will be very little demand for appointments outside of perceived "regular" hours. Let's look at female GPs who may be mothers too. Many of these GPs will find they benefit too from the option of more flexible hours but of course the option to work "regular" hours in some surgeries will be available too.

8:08 am  
Anonymous Curly said...

I find it difficult to understand how some of your commenters seem to think that extended GP opening hours will lead to increased surgery costs.

When retailers moved to 24 hour opening it did not necessarily lead to additional costs per sale/client. It simply led to renegotiated contracts and flexible scheduling that saw people being paid the same annual salary for working a different five days out of seven perhaps on a different but agreed rota basis.In other words, individuals were not working any additional hours.

The secret was to schedule in the man hours at the times of the week when the demand was highest.

1:04 am  

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