There used to be GP cover 24 hours, now it seems to be more like 8-5. And people seem surprised we are seeing an increased load on A&E.
Facts fail. Every region has 24hr GP cover, and it is more accessible than it was when you had to get your local GP out of bed in olden days!
The simple reason GP surgeries are not open more is that they are not paid to by the existing contract. GP Practices are businesses run by partners. If it is financially viable to open longer they will, just like any other business. That is only going to happen if someone pays for it, then built into the GP contract. The fact that the surgery is already telling you you need to wait a week for appointments suggests they are running at capacity, opening additional hours will not free up a capacity, it will just shift the problem, unless you employ more GP's
My wife's surgery has appointment system and Duty Doctor. In the circumstance described by the OP, he could see Duty Doc today, but may need to wait a while, especially as it is Monday and people have 'stacked up' their issues over the weekend.
In response to the predicable dig about salaries. It has taken my wife 15 years of incredibly hard graft and sacrifice to get where she is, including working in hospitals for less than minimum wage (by the time you factor in working hours) She works to a level of pressure that a lot of people could not sustain and makes daily decisions that really affect peoples lives. She earns every bloody penny.