PERFORMANCE: NHS Nottinghamshire County has given up on a target to offer all patients access to GP practices with extended hours.

So far this year, only 67 per cent of practices are offering extended hours in line with Department of Health guidelines.

Board papers say: “NHS Nottinghamshire County cannot remain committed to achieving improved access for 100 per cent of patients through extended hours.”

The PCT blames “significant financial pressures”. In addition, it says changes to the Direct Enhanced Service deal - part of GPs’ contracts - have relaxed the targets at the same time as offering practices less money to carry the services out.

Due to this reduction in payments, eight practices have already confirmed they will not be continuing to provide extended hours.

However, the document states: “Given the changes in the terms of the DES and the relaxation of the access targets it is anticipated that PCTs will not be as rigorously performance managed on access targets in 2011-12.”