Date Published: 21 June 2010
BMA comment on NHS operating framework (UK)
Commenting on the intention to remove the 48 hour access target in primary care Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the BMA's GPs Committee, said:
“Patients should have good access to GPs. However, while this target may have been intended to improve access it has in fact had adverse consequences. At the moment practices need to have enough appointments available on the day or the following day to meet the target, so those who want to book in advance find there are fewer appointments available. We would therefore welcome the scrapping of this target as it will give GPs greater flexibility to organise their appointment booking system in a way that best suits their local patient population.?
Commenting on the relaxation of the 18 week referral to treatment target; and the relaxation of the 4 hour A&E target, Dr Keith Brent, Deputy Chairman of the BMA's Consultants Committee, said:
“Waiting time targets have improved the NHS in many respects, but they have also resulted in pressure on staff to make inappropriate decisions. Patients must always be treated as individuals and we welcome this commitment to allow doctors the freedom to do what is clinically appropriate.”
Source: British Medical Association.