PRIMARY care trusts in North Yorkshire are taking action over the proposed withdrawal of Saturday morning surgeries in family doctor practices.

Members of North Yorkshire County Council's health scrutiny committee were told by nursing director Janet Probert of concerns from both patients and professionals of the effect the change would have on local accident and emergency departments.

Ms Probert said bank holiday periods would also be affected by the changes, resulting from the doctors' revised service arrangements with the NHS.

She said that the four trusts in the area were working on a detailed plan to develop services in the future to ensure out-of-hours cover.

The aim is to develop services to not only maintain, but develop cover to provide improved links between GPs' out-of-hours services and ambulance services, community nursing and social care.

The committee chairman, Councillor John Blackie, urged trusts to take into consideration the potential detrimental effect the changes would have on people living in rural areas.

"The loss of Saturday morning surgeries, together with the proposed new arrangements, could result in long and difficult journeys for people living in isolated communities," he said.