Improved Access-LMC discussion paper
The Conservative Manifesto for the 2015 election included a number of pledges to increase access to general practice. A Conservative government would “ensure that you can see a GP seven days a week by 2020” and that “everyone over 75 will get a same day appointment if they need one.” Later on it indicates that by 2020 they wanted people to be able to see a GP “7 days a week from 8am to 8pm” and that they would “restore your right to access a specific named GP”, though no time limit for this is mentioned.
With such an unambiguous commitment it is probably inevitable that the Department of Health should now be instructing NHS England to deliver. However, senior leadership at NHSE is well aware of the very fragile state of general practice across much of England and understands that the manifesto pledge simply cannot be honoured as it stands - indeed, to try and do so in the current climate would very likely cause primary care to implode. Download the full LMC paper