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Home Industry News GP surgeries ‘are open longer’

GP surgeries ‘are open longer’

18th June 2008

The Department of Health has announced that an increasing number of GP surgeries now have longer opening hours, enabling patients to see their doctor at weekend and evenings.

Statistics published for May 2008 reveal that 20 per cent of family doctor practices are now offering patients extended opening hours.

Furthermore, 21 primary care trusts report that more than half their local family doctor services now offer extended opening.

According to recent changes made to the GP contract with the British Medical Association, family doctors are working with the local NHS to agree weekend and evening opening arrangements, with the government aiming for half of all GP surgeries to offer such facilities.

Ben Bradshaw, health services minister, said: “Today’s data shows that the NHS is well on track to achieve our aim of at least half of GPs providing extended hours for patients by the end of the year.

“This is great news for patients.”

He added that patients want increased choice and flexibility over when they see their family doctor and more personal and convenient healthcare.

On a visit to a newly-opened GP health centre in Kirby-in-Ashfield last week, Mr Bradshaw restated the government’s dedication to investment in family doctor services.

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