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Independents' Day

CCG offers Sunday opening LES

A CCG in Durham has offered a LES for Saturday and Sunday opening for practices to relieve the pressure on health services this winter.

The scheme, devised by North Durham CCG, involves 15 practices which will be open for an extra 20 hours a week as an alternative to using urgent care or visiting A&E.

The winter pressure scheme is funded by the CCG, using non-re current money. Practices will receive between £800 to £1,000 for a five hour session, depending on whether it is staffed by a GP and a receptionist or if a nurse is also available.

Dr Neil O’ Brien, chief clinical officer designate of the CCG , whose own practice is offering Saturday morning appointments during the winter, said the scheme was a way of mobilising primary care to help with winter pressures.

Some surgeries are open both days and some are only offering Saturday morning sessions, or all day Saturdays.

The scheme follows a pilot at a single surgery last year and will be evaluated at the end of the peak winter period.

Dr George Rae, chief executive officer at Newcastle LMC, said: ‘It’s important that the resourcing is there and the capacity is there.’

He said he was sure it would be welcomed by patients and added it was important that there is proper resourcing and ‘capacity is not strained to breaking point’.

Readers' comments (4)

  • Bye and thanks for all the fish

    This is all well and good and patients will love it. But what part of the Monday to Friday day job will be relaxed to enable GPs to have the stamina to do this?

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  • I note it is non recurrent money. What hapens in subsequent years when there is no money to pay for it. Once you have introduced such a service it will be very difficult to withdraw it.

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  • Couple of years ago when the extended hours DES money was cut, we've stopped the Sat morning clinic - we would have made a loss if we continued. We had a bit of a stick but it wasn't too bad and the patients soon adjusted.

    Not that I want to come in on Sundays to work mind - even my family deserves to see me at some point in the week!

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  • Why not be responsible for patient care 24 hrs a day 365 days a week. Patients would love it!

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