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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Longer surgery hours demanded

More data suggesting that patients want GP practices to be open evenings and Saturdays has been released by the Department of Health.

The figures were published after health minister Andy Burnham told Pulse he wants to see MPIG funds diverted to incentives to encourage practices to offer more flexible hours.

Encouraging practices to open longer was the third most important priority for 84 members of the public attending a summit detailing the first year of progress on the white paper Our Health, Our Care, Our Say. The top priority was for an NHS life check followed by joint planning of health, social care and other services.

The department concluded that the public consider better access to GPs as 'critical'.

'Access remains a key concern and there is a need for reassurance on emergency care and 24-hour access,' the report said.

As well as informing the

public about progress, the

event on 27 March was des-igned to enable participants

to assess progress and give

them the opportunity to put forward ideas for priorities for the next year.

• Get expert advice at our seminar on extended opening hours – for full details, turn to page 65

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