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0747: Extended hours surgery

Dr Stewart Findlay, a GP in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, starts a twelve-hour day with an extended hours surgery, which impresses his patients - even if they don't need it

I have been in surgery now since 0715. My first extended hours appointment was at 0730 and my last appointment today is at 1915. Patients are impressed that we now offer routine appoinments outside of normal working hours but in the northeast of England, outside of the commuter belts, most appointments are taken up by people that do not work and who would be better off coming in to the sugery when we are fully staffed and have access to path lab and X-ray facilities.

At least the snow has gone! Our LMC did try to persuade our PCT to cancel non-urgent extended hours sessions during the worst weather I have seen in 27 years, but they did not.

So whilst many of our managers worked from home, our GPs and their staff risked the weather and continued to provide not only their normal surgeries but extended hours as well.

Dr Stewart Findlay