More than 1,000 people have been part of new plans to extend GP appointments into the evenings and weekends.
Working in partnership, NHS Crawley CCG and NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG launched a survey last year 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 asked about how likely people 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.
Now, the CCG has compiled a report of what you told us, which – hand in hand with our clinical expertise – will inform our planning and commissioning of the new services according to local need, as far as possible.
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.
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.