Southwark CCG in London has been one of the main that areas that has fully adopted the seven-day access scheme – and intends to push full-steam ahead with rolling out extended GP opening across the area.
Last year, the CCG told Pulse that it had committed £2m a year for the next three years for 80,000 additional routine appointments from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, at two sites in the south London borough.
Since then, the CCG has continued to roll-out seven-day access, using its ‘Extended Primary Care Service’ approach. Southwark CCG chair told Pulse that its extended GP opening hours in the week and on Saturday and Sunday has been ‘popular with patients’.
Dr Jonty Heaversedge, chair of NHS Southwark CCG, said: ‘Southwark residents have been telling us for some time that they sometimes find it difficult to get an appointment with a GP or practice nurse. We listened to this feedback and worked with local practices to co-design our Extended Primary Care Service.
‘The service is available to patients 8am to 8pm, seven days a week, delivered from two sites in the borough. A shared appointment booking system is in place meaning the service is accessible through general practice, the GP out-of-hours service, and local emergency department. With patient consent, clinicians also have access to patients’ primary care records to support continuity of care.
‘It is a popular service with patients and is giving our local practices much needed capacity to ensure their patients are seen quickly. We know that we need to build on our initial success and are regularly reviewing the service to identify how it can improve.’