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Patients accept closure of Saturday surgeries

Replacing Saturday surgeries with out-of-hours cover is acceptable to most patients, a study suggests.

GPs at an eight-partner PMS practice in East Mosely, Surrey, surveyed 75 patients attending Saturday surgeries over a six-week period.

Some 85.3 per cent felt they needed urgent attention, while 14.7 per cent said their case was not urgent. The majority (85.7 per cent) felt able to see any GP at the practice, according to the study in the British Journal of General Practice.

A quarter said they would see a deputising GP if the surgery was closed on Saturdays while another 25 per cent would wait for a routine appointment.

The finding suggested 'inappropriate use of Saturday surgeries for routine repeated attendance'.

Dr Farah Chaudhry, a GP at the practice and author of the study, said: 'Research on patient satisfaction with out-of-hours care has been positive. The results of this study support the use of out-of-hours cover to replace Saturday surgeries.'

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