More than 69% of GP surgeries are now offering patients extended opening hours, the Department of Health (DH) announced today (13 January 2009).
Statistics released by the DH show that, as at the end of December, more than 69% of the 8,262 GP practices in England are offering more flexible early morning, evening and weekend opening.
GPs nationally met the challenging government target of 50% of practices offering extended opening hours by the end of 2008, three months early in September.
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: “I am pleased to see that over 69% of GP practices across the country are now providing early morning, evening or weekend opening to reflect local patients’ needs. Flexible and convenient opening hours provide millions more appointments and make it much easier for patients to see a GP.
“Thanks to the hard work of local NHS organisations and GP practices, this has far exceeded the original target of half of GP surgeries offering extended opening hours by the end of 2008. I would strongly encourage anyone who is not satisfied with access in their area to take this up with their local NHS.”