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Databank. Access to GPs and clinics out of hours
Access to GPs and clinics out of hours
A survey conducted by the Department of Health to collect information on out of hours access to GP surgeries and clinics was published recently. The survey collected from a representative sample of 12 Health Authorities was conducted in April and May 1999. Nearly all practices (98 per cent covering 97 per cent of patients) offered some access to GPs before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. on at least one weekday per week. Just over one-quarter of practices (27 per cent covering 38 per cent of patients) offered access to GPs before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. on every weekday. Eleven per cent of patients were able to consult their GP about non-emergency matters at the weekend. There was widespread provision of contraceptive services outside office hours, mainly in community clinics after 5 p.m. but very few community-based clinics were provided outside office hours.