Health committee chair Sarah Wollaston demands Theresa May apologise for GP ‘scapegoating’ amid Tory backlash

The head of the Health Select Committee has said Theresa May must apologise for trying to “scapegoat” GPs over overwhelming pressure faced by the NHS.

Conservative MPs have turned on the Prime Minister after she said the lack of surgeries offering extended opening hours was causing patients and overstretched A&E departments to suffer.

Former GP Sarah Wollaston told The Independent the Government was “failing to take responsibility for a system-wide issue which is not just about primary care”.

“I do feel this is going to backfire, I think it was the wrong thing to say, and I think frankly they should apologise,” said Dr Wollaston, MP for Totnes who has been health committee chair since June 2014.

Downing Street has said GP surgeries are not doing enough to meet NHS commitments to see patients twelve hours a day, seven days a week amid a growing crisis leaving hospitals unable to cope with demand.

In a statement, Ms May’s office expressed its frustration at the failure of GPs to offer services every day from 8am to 8pm unless they can prove the demand from patients is not there.

Full story in The Independent 14 January 2017