Six more GP practices in the Airedale and Craven area are now opening on Saturdays in a bid to reduce demand on A&E services.

Some practices open routinely on Saturdays but during the first busy couple of months in the year many more patients will be able to access urgent healthcare from their local surgery.

Among those opening until Saturday, March 1, will be Silsden Health Centre, Oakworth Health Centre, Townhead Surgery in Settle, Fisher Medical Centre in Skipton, Grassington Medical Centre and Crosshills Group Practice.

Patients wanting to see if their health centre is open need to check at Funding from Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made the extra openings possible.

Its chairman Dr Colin Renwick said: “We are really pleased that some of our GP practices are opening on Saturdays over the next couple of months.

“We appreciate the commitment from GPs and their staff to extend services during the weekend by providing health care services closer to people’s homes.

“As winter is a particularly busy time for A&E, we hope this will help ease some of the pressure on urgent care services.

"Patients of practices which are not open will still be able to access urgent care through the NHS 111 service, instead of waiting at A&E when they don’t need to.”