From Monday 20 August it will be even easier for people to make an appointment with a GP across North West Surrey, thanks to a new national ‘extended access’ initiative, which will improve access to primary care services in North West Surrey.
This means, in addition to being able to book GP appointments at a local practice, patients will now also have access to additional appointments during the evenings and at weekends at a number of locations across the local area.
The extra appointments are being provided by the GP federation that brings together all 40 GP practices in the local area and is known as North West Surrey Integrated Care Services.
By working together in a new and different way local GP practices will be improving access to primary care appointments, making it even easier for local people to get the care and advice they need, at a time that’s convenient to them.
These additional appointments will be available from 6-9pm on weekday evenings (including bank holidays but not in August) and from 9am to midday at weekends. Patients can book these appointments through their local GP practice.
As these extra appointments are provided from GP surgeries and for Woking, from Woking Community Hub (Bedsur Hub), the GP or clinician will have access to patients’ medical records, via patient consent, giving them access to all the information they would need to provide the best possible care
Initially, these extra appointments will be provided by local GPs but from August there are plans to extend this service to also include nurse-led clinics, blood tests, physiotherapy assessments and digital consultations (which includes online face to face consultations via a patient smartphone).
Dr Caroline Baker, Chief Executive Officer of North West Surrey Integrated Care Services and local GP explained: “I am really pleased that we can provide the residents in North West Surrey these additional extended hours appointments, particularly those who may normally struggle to get a GP appointment during normal GP opening hours. An added benefit is that these GP Extended Access Clinics are based within a primary care setting and the clinician who sees you will have access to your GP records making the appointment just like visiting your own GP practice.”
Dr Charlotte Canniff, Clinical Chair for North West Surrey CCG and local GP explained “As a health system, we continue to work hard to ensure patients have access to the right care in the most appropriate place. Patients already have access to medical advice, from the NHS111 service, pharmacies and Walk-in-Centres. Parents with young children can also download the HANDi App (from Google Play or Appstore), which was developed to provide advice and support if their children have symptoms of common childhood illnesses and give parents confidence in dealing with minor conditions themselves at home or the most appropriate place to seek support.
These GP Extended Access Clinics have been put in place so that those presenting at A&E, are those that really need urgent or emergency help.”