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Access to GPs - Dr Helen Atherton comments

Dr AthertonA new investigation by the BBC has found that 10% of registered patients live in areas where there is no access to GPs in evenings and at weekends.

Dr Helen Atherton from Warwick Medical School said:

"Difficulty making a convenient appointment with a general practitioner is a major concern for many patients.

"The BBC survey rightly indicates that not all general practices currently offer extended access to appointments. What it does not do is examine whether this is an issue for patients.

"In fact recent research has shown that extended opening hours lead to only a very slight increase in patient satisfaction, and where extended hours have been offered these appointments are not always filled, particularly appointments offered on a Sunday which have been shown to go unfilled.

"This indicates that obtaining access to a convenient appointment is more complex than just opening for longer hours and perhaps involves wanting to see a particular GP as well as having an appointment at a convenient time."

Dr Atherton is available for interview today, Monday 30 July.

30 July 2018