GP evening and weekend appointments to increase

GP evening and weekend appointments to increase
31 March 2015

A pilot scheme has been launched by a group of GPs in Islington looking to create three new primary care hubs that will offer evening and weekend appointments.

The primary care hubs, which are to be located at three existing primary care centres in the north, central and south areas of the borough, will offer extra appointments during weekday evenings until 8.00pm and on weekends from 8am – 8pm.

Dr Sunil Limaye, a practice co-ordinator and local GP who is involved in the pilot scheme, said, “This pilot is designed to help make what we do every day even better, through collaboration, integration, scale, agility and smart use of technology.

"We want patients to be able to say, “Now I can see my doctor after work or at the weekend … book an appointment or get my prescription online … get a test arranged without having to wait for ages … talk to a GP on the phone when I’m worried about my breathing … go to the Urgent Care Centre and the doctor can see my records … see a local GP when my own surgery is closed … get my medicines if I run out without having to go to hospital … be sure that my GP knows what I’m allergic to”.

“We passionately believe that this pilot is the next logical step towards improving patient access to primary care in our inner city borough.”

This is part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund, a £350 million investment in GP services across England. The 2015/16 funding will deliver on the promise of a new deal for primary care, as highlighted in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

For patients across England, this will mean:

  • 18 million people will, by March next year, be offered more evening and weekend, video, email and telephone consultations, the equivalent of 8,000 more appointments a day
  • over 8.5 million people will see redevelopment of their existing practices, to increase clinical space and offer additional services
  • greater access to pharmacists, nurses and speech therapists from local GP surgeries
  • more personalised advice from pharmacists who will be able to access medical records
  • more tests, treatments and services offered closer to people’s homes, including minor operations and blood tests

More information can be found here.

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