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Extended GP practice opening hours even more widespread

Extended GP practice opening hours even more widespread

The number of practices offering extended opening hours has increased again, according to the latest Department of Health (DH) figures.

Of 8,263 practices, 4,864 (58.9%) offered extended opening hours on 21 October 2008. This compares with 51.4% in September.

The DH data show the number of GP practices within each commissioner area (PCTs and care trusts) and how many of those practices were offering extended opening hours.

The average percentage of practices offering extended hours within each commissioner area was 59.1%, compared with 51.5% in September.

Just one commissioner area did not contain any practices that were offering extended hours – in September there were six, indicating that surgeries are quickly moving to satisfy the new directed enhanced service introduced this year.

At the end of September, GPs had already met the challenging government target of 50% of practices offering extended opening hours by the end of the year.

Do these figures surprise you? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"I am not surprised by the response; despite the initial objections it is the government that drives the agenda and unless the initiative is tested one cannot assess whether patient care has shown improvement." - V Henry

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