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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs hit back after report condemns 700 premises

The Department of Health has defended GPs' right to stop providing Saturday surgeries after a stinging attack by MPs.

The health select committee said it 'deplored the loss of GP Saturday morning surgeries' in a report on out-of-hours care earlier this year.

But in an official response released last week, the department said practices never

had to provide them in

the first place and had only done so out of goodwill to

patients.

'The NHS has therefore never required GPs to open on Saturdays,' the response said.

The department also denied claims that GPs opting out of out-of-hours was to blame for a rise in A&E

attendance.

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