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One in four evening and weekend GP appointments unused, research reveals

Research suggesting that one in four evening and weekend GP appointments in England are going unfilled has been described as “shocking” by critics of the government’s controversial drive to guarantee access to family doctors at weekends.

Around half a million appointment slots have been left empty on evenings and weekends, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) from 80 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Take-up was at its lowest on Sundays, when 37% of appointments go unfilled, according to figures obtained by Pulse, a specialist publication for doctors. On weekday evenings, 23% of slots were going unused.

The figures were seized on by the British Medical Association, which opposes the government’s ‘seven days a week’ pledge on doctors’ appointments at a time when waiting times for routine weekday appointments are lengthening.

Read more in The Guardian.

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