Gainsborough 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 across Gainsborough, Lincoln and surrounding areas.
GP practices are currently open between 8am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday, with some open for longer ‘extended’ hours on one or two weekdays and some Saturday mornings.
Now, the CCG is required by NHS England to provide extended hours access to GP services, including at evenings and weekends to 100 per cent of its patient population by October 1.
This must include ensuring appointments are available during peak times of demand including bank holidays and across the Easter, Christmas and New Year periods.
Dr Ian Lacy, General Practice Advisor at Lincolnshire West CCG, said: “Seven day extended access is an important addition to health care provision and 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.”
The new service would be delivered by a collaboration of GP practices in the area, meaning if a patient wishes to attend an extended hours appointment it may not necessarily be with their own GP and they may need to travel to another local practice or a central GP practice hub.
Extended hours appointments would be for pre-bookable non-urgent appointments, for example, chronic illness, asthma checks, flu jabs, blood tests, medicines reviews, or physiotherapy.
For urgent matters at evenings and weekends, patients would continue to access the GP Out of Hours Services at Lincoln County Hospital via NHS 111 or the Minor Injuries Unit at Gainsborough’s John Coupland Hospital.
The CCG is now asking for patients to give us their thoughts on how they would most like to see this extra provision delivered.
The survey can be accessed online at 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.
Dr Lacy added: “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.”
The closing date for the survey is 11.59pm on Thursday, May 31. Paper copies must be returned to your GP practice or posted to NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, Cross O’ Cliff, Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln, LN4 2HN.