The Department of Health says plans to introduce 152 GP-led walk-in centres across England will provide 900 more GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants and allow for more than 2.5 million extra GP appointments each year.
Several new walk-in centres have already been introduced in the West Midlands where, according to a recent MORI poll, 33% of people said they would prefer an evening GP appointment.
The Department of Health says that, since May this year, 70% of GP surgeries in the West Midlands have offered more flexible and convenient opening hours, and that on average surgeries now offer appointments for an extra three hours a day, or at the weekend.
Two new GP-led walk-in centres are to be introduced this in Worcester (due to open in July) and Hereford (to be opened in September). Other walk-in centres have already opened in the last few months in Walsall, Dudley, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton and Solihull.
Eamonn Kelly, Director of Commissioning at NHS West Midlands, said: “We have made excellent progress with increasing access to GPs with the number of GP practices providing early morning, evening and weekend opening steadily increasing.
“Out of a total of 965 GP practices in the West Midlands, we now have 658 practices opening at times that are more convenient to patients. The feedback we are getting from patients shows they are very pleased with the access they have to local family doctors and their services.”