An innovative new scheme has been launched in East Lancashire to increase the number of GP appointments available to patients in the area. The scheme, known as extended GP access was first suggested in a public consultation in 2016 when NHS East Lancashire CCG proposed to improve GP access across East Lancashire.
The GP extended access scheme has been tried and tested in Hyndburn since January this year and now will be available for residents of Burnley, Pendle, Ribblesdale and Rossendale. Patients registered with GPs in each area will be able to benefit from extended GP access in a system set up and run by local GPs to improve access to GP services.
Every GP practice in each area of East Lancashire will be involved in the new extended GP access system. NHS East Lancashire has commissioned a local group of GPs working across the whole of East Lancashire called the EU Federation of GPs to introduce the scheme in each area.
The extended GP access scheme means that patients can make an appointment by telephone or face to face with their GP practice to see a GP or practice nurse, from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm at night on week days and from 10 am to 4 pm on a Saturday and Sunday. The system has been set up by local GPs working collectively to improve access to GP and practice nurse services. The appointments available in these extra weekday and weekend hours are in addition to the usual GP surgery opening hours from 8 am to 6.30 pm.The GPs will be able to access the full medical record and history to enable a thorough assessment and course of treatment. It also means that the patients record will be updated which will provide continuity of care. Appointments are being made for GP and nurse consultations from extended GP access hubs in Burnley, Hyndburn and Pendle. Rossendale and Ribblesdale will follow.
Burnley – St Peters via Burnley Group Practice
Hyndburn – Peel House Medical Centre
Pendle – Yarnspinners via Reedyford Practice
Rossendale – Haslingden Health Centre via Dr Mackenzie & Partners from the 24th September
Ribble Valley – currently patients can access any of the other areas with a local site anticipated to go live by the 1st November