WIGAN GPs have missed out on a share of the Government’s £50m GP Access Fund which would have been used to increase surgery opening hours.
Despite bidding for a share of the cash, Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG) was told it had been unsuccessful even though Government chiefs claimed the cash would benefit more than seven million patients and is intended to make it possible for people to see their GP in evenings or weekends.
WBCCG chiefs say they are disappointed to have missed out but insist they are still hopeful of improving patient experience.
Dr Tim Dalton, Local GP and Chair of WBCCG, said: “The CCG is committed to continue working with NHS England, who are responsible for commissioning GP services, to make it easier for our residents to get good access to their local GP services.
“The proposals in our bid would have played a significant role in improving access for patients.
“While it is disappointing this centrally funded opportunity will not be available for our patients, because of the commitment of our local practices to quality care, we will be working with the practices to jointly implement as many of the ideas as we can, by whatever other means are possible.”
The shadow health secretary and MP for Leigh, Andy Burnham (left) has criticised the scheme.
Mr Burnham said: “People know it has got much harder to get a GP appointment.
“For the majority things will carry on getting worse and they are being told to expect to wait a week for a GP.”