Weekend opening in primary care: Analysis of the General Practice Patient Survey
© British Journal of General Practice. Background Seven-day opening in primary care is a key policy for the UK government. However, it is unclear if weekend opening will meet patients' needs or lead to additional demand. Aim To identify patient groups most likely to use weekend opening in primary care. Design and setting The General Practice Patient Survey 2014, which sampled from all general practices in England, was used. Method Logistic regression was used to measure the associations between perceived benefit from seeing or speaking to someone at the weekend and age, sex, deprivation, health conditions, functioning, work status, rurality, and quality of life. Results Out of 881 183 participants who responded to the questionnaire, 712 776 (80.9%) did not report any problems with opening times. Of the 168 407 responders (19.1%) who reported inconvenient opening times, 73.9% stated that Saturday opening, and 35.8% Sunday opening, would make it easier for them to see or speak to someone. Only 2.2% of responders reported that Sunday, but not Saturday, opening would make it easier for them. Younger people, those who work full time, and those who could not get time off work were more likely to report that weekend opening would help. People with Alzheimer's disease, learning difficulties, or problems with walking, washing, or dressing were less likely to report that weekend opening would help. Conclusion Most people do not think they need weekend opening, but it may benefit certain patient groups, such as younger people in full-time work. Sunday opening, in addition to Saturday, is unlikely to improve access.