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More than two-thirds of GP surgeries offer patients extended opening hours

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More than 69 per cent of GP surgeries are now offering patients extended opening hours, according to the Department of Health.

Government figures show that as at the end of December target deadline, more than 69% of the 8,262 GP practices in England were offering more flexible early morning, evening and weekend opening.

On average GPs across the country have met the Government's target of getting 50 per cent of practices offering extended opening hours by the end of 2008. However some practices have failed to achieve this.

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.'

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