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First of “next generation” health centres opens

1 December 2008

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A new GP health centre that gives patients enhanced access to family doctor services has been opened by health secretary Alan Johnson.

Hillside Bridge Health Care Centre, in Bradford, West Yorkshire, is the first of 152 new centres in England that will see patients from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

A range of services will be on offer, including care for people with diabetes and asthma, sexual health services, minor surgery, vaccinations and immunisations, and health and wellbeing clinics.

These health centres, part of a government programme to increase access to GP services, can be used by any member of the public while staying registered with their local family doctor. The centres will provide a minimum of 2.6 million extra GP appointments a year.

Mr Johnson commented: “Health centres like this one and others opening around the country are an addition to and complement existing GP services, providing more capacity in primary care and offering patients greater choice and flexibility – they will be open from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

The new health centres are part of a government pledge to improve access to GP services, including action to ensure a greater number of GP practices offer early morning, evening or weekend appointments.

Copyright Press Association 2008

Department of Health