[Image: Anthony Devlin/PA].

It’s all very well to support the Conservative Government by printing evidence that GP surgeries aren’t open long enough – but if you don’t print the reasons, it means nothing.

The facts are that many surgeries in England are suffering a harsh money squeeze because of Tory real-terms funding cuts; they cannot afford the staff necessary to extend surgery opening hours and don’t have the resources.

And this situation is going to become worse, due to the unreasonable Tory decision to cut funding for GP surgeries that have to close for any length of time during office hours.

It is as Dr Richard Vautrey, BMA GP committee deputy chairman, said in the same Torygraph article: “The vast majority of practices are struggling to deliver even basic care in weekday hours and do not have the staff or resources to deliver anymore services.”

His comments were buried towards the end of the story, as were the words of Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, who said: “Obviously, a large part of a GP’s work is seeing patients in face to face consultations, but there is a lot more involved in day to day general practice – and just because actual surgeries aren’t taking place, it doesn’t mean patient care isn’t being delivered via telephone or online consultations, or by making home visits.”

This Writer is lucky – I live in Wales. My local GP practice opens at 8am and doesn’t close until long after 6pm – more than 10 hours every day.

If necessary, I can have immediate access to patient care via the morning triage service which runs on a “first come, first served” basis.

And if I need specialist care, the local hospital is only a couple of minutes’ walk up the road.

This is the health service that Theresa May denigrates in Prime Minister’s Questions every week, while allowing the English system to fall to wrack and ruin.

More than half of GP practices are opening for fewer than eight hours a day – with more than 1,500 opening for under five hours daily, a Telegraph investigation reveals.

The Health Secretary urged surgeries which closed early to consider the “severe impact” they were having on the rest of the NHS, which is now under the worst strain in its history.

Senior doctors warned that “the vast majority” of practices were struggling to deliver basic care within weekday hours amid rising demand.

Figures show that in total, 4,208 are open to patients for less than eight hours a day – 47 per cent of the 8,941 English practices listed as active by NHS Choices.

They include 3,504 which are open for fewer than seven hours a day. And among them are 1,631 open for under five hours daily.

Source: Half of GP surgeries open for under eight hours a day, Telegraph investigation reveals

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