StaffZone | Accessibility | Font size: A- A+

Health Matters - Extended GP Access

Health Matters - Extended GP Access
28 November 2018

Dr Paddy Kearns, GP partner at Manchester Road Medical Centre, Knutsford

While public satisfaction with general practice is high, we know there’s more we can do to make our services accessible.

That’s why GP practices in Eastern Cheshire are working together to give patients better access to healthcare services by offering additional appointments to see a clinical member of the practice team on weekdays after 6.30pm and on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The additional appointments have been available since the start of October and should further enhance public satisfaction with the area’s 22 GP practices, which were rated in the top eight per cent in England in the 2017-18 GP Patient Survey published in August.

The survey reinforced the findings of the Care Quality Commission, which has rated all our practices as good or outstanding.

These extended hours will increase the number of appointments available each week and make it much easier for people including unpaid carers and those with full-time jobs to get a consultation at a time that suits them.

You can access extended hours appointments by ringing your local practice as usual and requesting an evening or weekend slot, the receptionist will then confirm the available times and location. The consultation may not be with your named GP, or in your usual practice, but they’ll still be able to access your GP record with your permission.

The service is the latest addition to the support network that operates outside standard working hours, such as your local community pharmacy and NHS 111, which is available if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation, or you don’t know which NHS service is best for your issue.

Improved access to general practice is being introduced to increase the availability of appointments for routine consultations, not to provide an alternative to services available in A&E or minor injuries units.