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Views sought on evening and weekend access to GP services 

Patient and public views are sought on proposals for access to evening and weekend GP Practice services, shared across a local area.

Working in partnership, NHS Crawley CCG and NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG have launched a survey to find out how local people might prefer to access GP Practice services outside of the normal weekday hours of 8.00am to 6.30pm.

The survey asks people about how likely they would be to access GP services on weekday evenings between 6.30 and 8.00pm and at weekends; the kinds of services they might want to use; and to think about alternatives to face to face consultations.

Extended access does not mean seeing your own GP every time you access one of these appointments, nor does it mean every GP working until 8.00pm / every weekend, or that every surgery will be open during these hours. It is likely that extended access services will be shared across a local area or town, offering a mixture of pre-bookable and same day appointments.

The patient and public survey will provide the CCGs – which plan, buy and monitor local NHS services - with important public and patient feedback on how they would prefer to access appointments on weekday evenings and at weekends. This will allow us to plan and commission services according to local need as far as possible.

Lead GP for NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG, Dr Minesh Patel said: “The NHS is under pressure like never before and we can all agree that services need to change and adapt in response to increasing demand and as people’s lifestyles change too. We think extending GP Practice services into the evenings and at weekends, across a local area, will go some way to meeting the needs of our local population”.

“This is just one example of how we seek to improve access to health and care, given the resources available within our community. But while we want to provide patients with a wide range of appointment times to choose from, we must also ensure that we make the best use of every health pound we spend locally and the reality is that our budgets are limited and we have rising GP and nurse vacancies in our practices”.

“We must consider other health and care services where patients cango to get the right care, in the right place at the right time, which isn’t always the GP. This could be an out of hours GP visit to your home, a consultation with your community pharmacist, a trip to the local Minor Injury Unit or Crawley Urgent Treatment Centre (open 24/7), or even a telephone call to NHS111.”

NHS Crawley CCG lead for primary care and local GP, Dr Ketan Kansagra, said: “We are inviting our 5 Communities - across Burgess Hill, Crawley, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Horsham and the surrounding villages, to review the options for providing extended access to GP Practice services at evenings and on weekends, and to consider what is best for them, as well as the wider community and the NHS as a whole.

“Together we can work smarter as we include the voice of patients, their family and the community.”

The online survey can be completed here. Paper copies are also available on request from the Primary Care and Community Development Team at NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG/NHS Crawley CCG on 01293 600300 x4138 or send an email to: HSCCG.Primary-Care@nhs.net titled GP Extended Access Survey. 

The survey will run until 15 September 2017. A summary feedback report of all responses will be published on our websites in due course.

Working to #HelpMyNHS

While more people than ever before are calling on its services, our NHS is facing the biggest financial challenge it has known. Our health and care services are under pressure and need to change and adapt in response to the continuously increasing demand. And while all the different parts of the NHS – from GPs to hospitals, mental health services to community services and social care services – are working together to find solutions, the NHS needs us, the people it was set up to serve, to do their bit as well.

The NHS continues to look for innovative ways to provide and improve services. Extended access to GP Practice services is just one example of how we seek to improve access to health and care, given the resources available within our community.  Together we can work smarter as we include the voice of patients, their family and the community.

 

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