‘£6 per patient won’t cover Monday to Sunday’
Dr Patrick Geraghty on seven-day GP access
dr patrick geraghty 3x2
We initially had 11 practices serving 110,000 patients. Then four more joined, serving nearly 40,000 patients.
We opened up four ‘hubs’. The practices open from 8am-8pm, or 7am-7pm Monday to Friday, and then the hub opens on Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 4pm.
We staff our hubs mainly with GPs, because a problem we ran up against was trying to get indemnity for nurses. Even though our nurses wanted to do it, they faced the problem of seeing patients from other practices [increasing indemnity costs]. So at the moment it is mainly doctor-run, with healthcare assistants who are covered by the doctors’ indemnity.
Of the doctors that do the weekend sessions, 70% are our partners. It has been great for continuity of care that all the doctors and staff have got involved.
Patient feedback has been superb, from those that work and those that don’t. They find it useful to bring kids on Saturday or Sunday rather than take them out of school for a routine thing.
However, the money NHS England has announced is not compatible with this service; £6 per patient is not going to cover Monday to Sunday. At the moment we’re lucky NHS Leeds West CCG funds us £13.10 per patient as well; I don’t know what we could offer Monday to Sunday for £6. It wouldn’t be much of a service, to be honest.
Dr Patrick Geraghty is a GP in Leeds who helped set up and works in a GP Access Fund seven-day pilot