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Older people 'would not benefit from later GP hours'

31st January 2007

Older people would not benefit from proposals to keep GP surgeries open later, a patients rights group has argued.

The Patients Association warned that elderly people would be affected by reforming GP opening times because a lot "don't like to go out at night – particularly in the winter time when it's dark".

"There is a concern about security and so forth," said spokesman Michael Summers.

"However it will help the younger generation who are working, and they will be able to have access to the GP after their own work has been completed. The solution really is to try and find a balance that suits everyone."

His comments come after a survey by the Department of Health (DoH) found that over two thirds would be happy to see surgeries closed during the day if they could get evening appointments.

The British Medical Association (BMA), which represents doctors from across the medical sector, also warned of shifting the later opening hours.

"If you were to make more appointments available during the evening then that would mean there would be less during the day – and people still want to have daytime access in the same quantity that they have now," a BMA spokesman said.