Some GP practices in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire will start offering evening and weekend appointments, the commissioning body has announced.
NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will offer these extra appointments from 31 March in a bid to help reduce pressures on both general practices and hospital emergency departments, while giving patients a convenient choice to access GP appointments out-of-hours.
Management in Practice asked NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG how many GP practices will provide the service.
Patients will be able to see a GP between 6.30pm and 8.30pm each weekday and on weekends between 10.00am and 2.00pm. They will be able to book these appointments by calling their practices or the free NHS 111 phone service.
Right care at the right time
The CCG said today (19 March) that it has chosen out-of-hours provider Local Care Direct to deliver the new service together with My Health Huddersfield (MHH) Ltd, a federation of local GP practices.
Local GP and chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG Dr Steve Ollerton said: ‘This new service will improve access and ensure that people can get the right care at a time that suits them.’
Every patient will have access to extended hours GP service by 2020, as stated in the General Practice Forward View (GPFV) published in 2016.
NHS England said on its website that it is committed to achieving 50% national coverage by March 2018 and 100% of the population by March 2019.
However, analysis by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) revealed in 2016 that the number of times when patients have to wait more than one week to see their GP will increase to 98 million in 2020/21 from 69 million in 2015/16 if the Government fails to follow through with the promises made in the GPFV.