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No link found between extended GP hours and A&E attendance

01/10/2017

Longer GP opening hours do not necessarily result in fewer people attending A&E departments, a new study has found.

NHS England (NHSE) is pinning hopes on extended GP opening hours making a 'significant contribution’ to managing pressure on urgent care services this winter.

This is the main reason it is aiming for 50% of the country to be covered by extended GP opening hours by March 2018.

But a new study by two Nottingham clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), both part of an NHS acute care 'vanguard', casts doubt on whether the roll out of extended GPs opening, although popular with patients, will have the desired effect.

Mansfield and Ashfield CCG, and Newark and Sherwood CCG evaluated the effects of extended GP access schemes on A&E attendances for practices in their areas and concluded there was 'no immediate correlation'  between GP opening hours and the weighted rates of emergency department attendances.

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