Patients’ views wanted on seven day access to GP services
Residents are being asked to help shape how a new proposal to extend access to GP services could be delivered.
Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is seeking the views of patients about extending the opening hours of its 31 GP practices in Lincoln, Gainsborough and surrounding areas.
GP practices in this area are currently open between 8am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday. Some practices open for longer hours on one or two weekdays and some Saturday mornings.
These are called extended hours.
Evenings and weekends
Now, the CCG is required by NHS England to provide extended hours access to GP services. This includes at evenings and weekends. It must be available to 100 per cent of its patient population by October 1.
This must include ensuring appointments are available during peak times of demand. These include bank holidays and across the Easter, Christmas and New Year periods.
GP practices currently offering extended hours do so for their own registered patients at their own practice.
Under the new proposal, the service will be delivered by a collaboration of GP practices in the area. If a patient wishes to attend an extended hours appointment, they may need to travel to another local GP practice or a central GP practice hub and would not necessarily see their own GP.
Dr Ian Lacy, General Practice Advisor at Lincolnshire West CCG said: “The most important thing for us is hearing the views of patients and using them to help shape the services we commission.
“Seven day extended access is an important addition to health care provision. We want to hear from as many people as possible to make sure what we will be doing meets the needs of our patient population.
“We would urge people to complete the survey and encourage others to do so. It is important we get this right and that it works for patients.”
Extended hours appointments would be for pre-bookable non-urgent appointments. These include for chronic illness, asthma checks, flu jabs, blood tests, medicines reviews, or physiotherapy.
For urgent matters at evenings and weekends, patients will continue to access the GP Out of Hours Services at Lincoln County Hospital via NHS 111 or the Minor Injuries Unit at John Coupland Hospital.
The CCG now wants patients to give them their thoughts on how they would most like to see this extra provision delivered.
The survey can be accessed online via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Extended-hours-GP-Services with printed copies available at local GP practices or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01522 515380. Alternative versions in different languages and formats are also available on request.
The closing date for the survey is 11.59pm on Thursday, May 31. If you are completing a paper copy of the survey please return it to your GP practice. Or you can post it to: NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, Cross O’ Cliff, Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln, LN4 2HN.