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May to repeat 8pm GP opening pledge

by in News, Political

NewsThe Conservatives are set to repeat their pledge to open GP surgeries until 8pm, it was reported today.

The plan, originally proposed in the 2015 manifesto, is linked to the faltering proposal to recruit 5,000 extra GPs.

But reports today say it will be included in this year’s Conservative manifesto.

The party – expected to return to government next month – will claim it can halt the decline in GP numbers by improved incentives to reduce early retirements, the Daily Express reported.

It will also be achieved by diverting existing NHS money “into front-line services” it was reported.

Meanwhile Labour promised to abolish hospital parking charges.

The party says its plan will cost £162 million and will be financed by an increased tax on private health insurance. The tax on premiums would increase from 12% to 20%.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said parking charges were a “tax on serious illness.”

The plan is being backed by public sector unions.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The cost of hospital parking is heaping excessive financial pressure on health employees who’ve gone for years without a decent pay rise.”

* The GP crisis will not be solved by enabling individual doctors to improve their handling of personal stress, researchers say today.

An analysis, published in the British Journal of General Practice, concludes there are “systemic work issues” facing the profession.

Researchers at Westminster University, London, questioned 22 GPs.

These reported mood changes, disrupted sleep, increased anxiety and family tensions. They also reported trying to reduce their work commitments.

The researchers found that doctors faced “historically unprecedented pressures.”

Researcher Professor Damien Ridge said: “At a time when GPs need more support than ever, NHS reforms have intensified GP work, increasingly cutting them off from their colleagues, patients and loved ones, and this is not without risk.”

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