More opportunity to access GP services

Evening and weekend access to GP services is now available across North East Hampshire and Farnham, helping patients to access the right care more quickly and conveniently.

Local people now have access to later appointments, with GP services available until 8pm on weekdays thanks to a new scheme introduced in the North East Hampshire and Farnham area. Weekend appointments will also be available for GP services across the area.

The changes mean an increase of opening times and forms part of the local NHS commitment to improve access to healthcare for local people.

Dr Andy Whitfield, Clinical Chair of North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group said, “Following a public survey where over 4,400 people shared their views on changes to accessing primary care GP services, we have been able to design the new service around the wishes of local people. 76% of people said they preferred the possibility of accessing services in their local areas on Saturday mornings as opposed to the rest of the weekend, and so these sessions have been made available alongside the extra availability on weekdays.

“Local people also showed a preference for being able to book not only routine GP appointments, but also blood tests, NHS Health Checks and smear tests during the new hours. Our GP practices are currently planning how they respond to patient preference and help people access those services at more convenient times.

“We are delighted to be able to offer people more choice and convenience for when they want an appointment. We hope that it enables people to better manage their health and get help and support from within their own communities to help keep them well.”

Extended hours appointments are available to book through your usual GP practice in the usual way. They are not available for a walk-in service without appointment.

Local practices have teamed up to offer appointments together for their patients. These may not always be at your usual GP practice but they will be within your locality, i.e. Aldershot, Farnborough, Farnham, Fleet or Yateley. All the options will be explained to you by the receptionist when you are booking your appointment.

The communities of North East Hampshire and Farnham will also benefit this winter from an additional 15,500 appointments being made available in GP practices from December 2017 to April 2018 when increased demand traditionally occurs. These additional winter appointments are in addition to the new services provided until 8pm and at weekends.

As always those who feel unwell are urged to contact their local pharmacy, GP or the NHS non-emergency telephone number, 111. Being seen locally will help to reduce the pressure on our A&E departments and hospitals that experience increased demand over the winter.

You can find the full report from our survey here.

An Integrated Impact Assessment has been completed for this area of work. You can view the assessment here.

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