The British Medical Association (BMA) has sought assurance from the government that GP surgeries will not be contractually obligated to extend their opening hours.
Following calls for clarification from the BMA, the Department of Health and NHS England have said there will be no changes to surgeries' existing contractual hours, despite recent comments by prime minister Theresa May.
“The British Medical Association has confirmed with the government that GP surgeries in England will not be forced to extend their opening hours.“
The BMA was one of a number of health organisations to criticise Mrs May after she recently stated that GPs' failure to extend their opening hours was placing pressure on emergency services, and that surgeries that did not increase their hours would face funding cuts.
Other organisations to speak out against these comments included the King's Fund, Royal College of GPs and Commons health select committee chair Sarah Wollaston, all of whom said the government is guilty of scapegoating GPs.
BMA GP committee chair Chaand Nagpaul said his organisation "will continue to fight for the survival of general practice and for the necessary investment for GPs to be able to do our jobs properly and provide safe, high-quality care to patients".
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