When did you last get a face-to-face appointment with your doctor? With the number of in-person GP consultations having fallen dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic, an NHS drive to increase patient access is being announced today.
GP surgeries will be “named and shamed” if they fail to offer sufficient appointments , as the Government unveils a proposal for doctors that includes pouring an extra £250m into general practices over the winter to boost capacity.
Practices will be told to consider using the fund to extend opening hours and offer walk-in consultations to allow more patients to see GPs in person.
Deputy Political Editor Lucy Fisher reports that doctors who fail to offer enough in-person appointments will be denied access to the fund .
DVLA strike threat could worsen lorry driver crisis
Britain’s supply chain headache could get bigger. The critical shortage of HGV drivers is likely to get worse after new strike action was threatened at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency . The Road Haulage Association warned that possible industrial action “could not come at a worse time”, aggravating the driver shortage that has led to empty supermarket shelves and a fuel crisis. The DVLA is working through a backlog of a reported 50,000 vocational driving licences that stretches back more than two months. As Chief Reporter Robert Mendick explains, the Public and Commercial Services union at the government agency’s Swansea offices will vote in the coming weeks on industrial action over fears that staff working in its offices are at risk of Covid .
Meanwhile, Christmas sales are to be brought forward by up to a month after supermarkets and retailers held talks with the Government to avoid empty shelves in December. Supermarket bosses are believed to have told officials they plan to begin promotions early to prevent last-minute demand. One retail chief said it was a “prudent step” to spread out sales amid a chronic shortage of drivers and port congestion.
Prince William unimpressed by Shatner’s rocket trip
The Duke of Cambridge has offered a damning indictment of space tourism, warning that the “world’s greatest brains” should be focused on repairing the planet rather than “trying to find the next place to go and live”. His comments came as a jubilant William Shatner, 90, stepped out of a rocket in a Texas desert having become the oldest human to reach space . Read how the Duke was apparently less than dazzled .
Daily dose of Matt
Today’s cartoon | View Matt ‘s latest cartoon as he takes a tongue-in-cheek look at how Christmas could be different this year.
Also in the news: Today’s other headlines
Brexit | Britain could compromise over the European Court of Justice’s role in Northern Ireland after Lord Frost suggested he would enter negotiations with Brussels without “red lines” . The Brexit minister said the bloc appears to have “moved significantly” with its offer of a new deal. Read the EU’s four-pronged plan of reform , which sketchwriter Madeline Grant says saw Maros Sefcovic eager to play peacemaker .
- MP guilty | Claudia Webbe may face jail over harassment
- Covid | Travellers stuck at airports after NHS app goes down
- X-rays | Dominic Raab hails scanners for cutting drugs in jail
- Rare Reynolds | Painting found ‘beaten up’ goes on sale
- Dough! | Baker’s best biscuits banned over ‘illegal sprinkles’
Around the world: Bow and arrow horror in Norway
At least five people were killed and others injured after a man launched a bow and arrow attack in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg. Officers arrested the suspect. As Marcus Parekh reports, police will investigate if it was an act of terrorism . View our daily gallery of world images.
Comment and analysis
- Allister Heath | Macron has turned France into a hostile state
- Con Coughlin | Internal warfare risks tearing the military apart
- Suzanne Moore | The Sussex professor row is an issue for everyone
- Michael Deacon | Don’t panic over Christmas, Prime Minister!
- Reader letters | Britain must accept the need for fossil fuels
- Unwinding | What Boris Johnson’s brushwork tells us about the fine art of painting on holiday
- Extreme saving | ‘I travel the world, won’t inherit a penny and will still retire at 47’
- Chevrolet Corvette C8 | Five-star review: Practicality plus big-hearted performance
Sport briefing: Root aims for IPL debut
Joe Root is to enter the Indian Premier League auction next year in an attempt to boost his T20 World Cup hopes. England’s Test captain has not played a T20 international since 2019, largely because selectors have chosen to manage his workload. But with the IPL expanded from eight teams to 10 next year, he could be an attractive option for franchises .
Business briefing: Sunak delays rates reform
The Government has stepped up its war on corporate Britain by snubbing a call from the CBI and 41 other trade associations to announce a business rates overhaul at the upcoming Budget. The Telegraph has learned that reforms have been “thrown into the long grass” and only smaller scale tweaks will be unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak later this month. Meanwhile, increasing mortgage costs could prove to be one of the biggest blows of Britain’s burgeoning cost-of-living crisis .
Your daily travel inspiration
Let the train take the strain | It is often said that there is no more relaxing form of travel than rail – and no better way to enjoy the beauties and sights of a country than through a carriage window. Anthony Lambert rounds up the UK’s best railway journeys for scenic views .
And finally… for this morning’s downtime
Brown Sugar’s tortured history | Is it about “the horrors of slavery”, hard drugs, or a girl? Whatever the case, the Rolling Stones might never play their controversial hit again. Ed Power investigates why they are cancelling their own song .
- 'We owe it to those victims': Priests to face JAIL if they fail to report child sex abuse admissions they hear in confession under new laws flagged a day after George Pell loses his appeal
- Britain sends a second warship to the Gulf following Royal Navy face-off with Iranian boats as Number 10 says it is in talks with the US about building a military coalition
- New Stormont Executive would face 'tough decisions' such as water charges
- Virtual GP service should be available to all – Health Secretary
- Cancer patients who have beaten the disease face years of tests to check it hasn't come back - no wonder 80 per cent say they suffer from 'scan-xiety'
- UK bosses face tougher punishments over corporate governance rules
- Julian Assange arrested by UK police as Ecuador revokes his asylum after 6-and-a-half-years inside their London embassy
- UK tech firms ‘could be stripped of Galileo sat-nav contracts by no-deal Brexit'
- Royal Mail faces shareholder showdown as executive pay comes under fire
- UK austerity has inflicted 'great misery' on citizens, UN says
- 'I'm scared to eat sometimes': UN envoy meets UK food bank users
- 'A political choice': UN envoy says UK can help all who hit hard times
- Universal credit row: why is Esther McVey facing calls to resign?
- Ryanair cancels 600 flights leaving 100,000 passengers facing disruption
- Jeremy Kyle called to face MPs over treatment of guests
- UK outlines 'simple' process for EU citizens after Brexit
- Belfast council enlists famous faces in campaign to help retailers after Primark blaze
- Warning over facial recognition ‘epidemic' in the UK
- Security News This Week: Julian Assange Faces Extradition to the US
- The Query: featuring news and analysis on the media by Claire Atkinson
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