New random checks on GP appointmentsIn the past surgeries had warning of checks

22 June 2006

Surgeries will get random checks from next month to ensure they offer patients a GP appointment within two days.

Primary care trusts will call each surgery in their area once a month on a random day and ask for available appointments. As well as asking for the first free slot, they'll also check the third, to find out more about the options available.

Health minister Lord Warner announced the change today as part of a crackdown on the the government target that all patients should be able to see their doctor within two working days.

Although such check calls are not new, surgeries knew in advance the date they'd be called, which led to concerns they could reshuffle appointments to fix the outcome.

Which? has long campaigned to get patients better access to health services.