More than a third of practices offering extended hours
By Steve Nowottny
More than a third of GP practices are now offering patients evening and weekend appointments, new Government figures show.
The latest monthly statistics from the Department of Health show 37.8% of practices in England are now offering extended hours, up from 28.1% in June.
58 PCTs have now hit the Government's target of 50% of practices offering extended hours – up from 35 in June.
The figures suggest the Government is well on course to hit its 50% target nationally by next April.
But Conservative health spokesman Mark Simmonds said: ‘Extended GP opening hours obviously brings benefits for patients, but the Government should not centrally prescribe how long GP surgeries should be open for.'
‘Instead, access and opening hours should be determined by GPs in response to their patients' needs, which can vary considerably.'
Pulse revealed in April that the Conservative party plans to scrap the Government's 50% extended hours target if they are elected.Extended hours