Patients will now be able to access routine appointments at a GP practice at evenings and weekends thanks to a new extended access service.
NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group has commissioned the extra appointments for all patients registered across its 30 practices, including Gainsborough, as part of an NHS England requirement.
It means that GP practices are now working together to offer patients better access to appointments across the region, enabling them to see a GP or other appropriate clinician at a time most convenient to them.
The extended access appointments will be available until 8pm on weekdays and there will be a number of appointments available at weekends. They will also be on offer on Bank Holidays and over the Easter and Christmas periods.
In total, 122 additional hours of appointments will be available in the Lincolnshire West area. Patients will need to check with their practice when the appointments are available.
The service is being 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 may not necessarily see their own GP.
Extended hours appointments would be for pre-bookable non-urgent appointments. These include for chronic illness, asthma checks or, medicines reviews.
For urgent matters at evenings and weekends, patients will continue to access the Minor Injuries Unit at John Coupland Hospital.