Patients in Leeds are now able to pre-book evening and weekend appointments with a GP, practice nurse or other healthcare professional.
NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has commissioned the Leeds GP Confederation to work with local GP practices to offer additional appointments outside of normal GP practice hours.
Improving access to primary care forms part of a national drive to offer greater flexibility to people who need a GP appointment.
NHS Leeds CCG expects the extended hours to provide Leeds residents with greater convenience and increased access to general practice appointments.
Dr Gordon Sinclair, a Headingley GP and Clinical Chair for NHS Leeds CCG, said: “We have been working with our GP practices in the city, through the Leeds GP Confederation, to offer additional appointments for local people. This means that people in Leeds can benefit from greater flexibility when looking to see a healthcare professional within a GP practice. Our skilled GP practice staff have been trained to ensure that when they book an appointment for you it will be with the most appropriate person that can help you – this is not always your GP.
“The extended access appointments have to be booked in advance, although it might be worth calling your local GP practice after 11am if you’re looking for an evening or weekend appointment rather than one during traditional opening hours.”
Evening and weekend appointments will benefit patients who can’t attend appointments during the working day, are busing during the day, perhaps with small children, and those who rely on working carers to take them.
The extended hours are for routine appointments and not for urgent care. People are also being reminded to call NHS 111 when they need urgent but not emergency care. A fully trained advisor will help people access the most appropriate service to meet their care need.
Appointments are now available weekday evenings until 8pm, Saturdays and Sundays. Patients wishing to book an evening or weekend appointment should contact their own GP practice or visit www.nhs.uk/gpaccess. These appointments can take place at the patient’s own GP practice, another local practice or another local NHS service such as a GP Practice Hub. Patients will be advised at time of booking where to go for their appointment.
More information on extended access to GP appointments can be found at www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/services/extended-gp-appointments.