Leeds patients benefit from extended GP opening hours

Evening and weekend appointments are now available with GPs, practice nurses and other healthcare professionals for routine pre-booked appointments for patients in Leeds.

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group has commissioned (funded) the Leeds GP Confederation to deliver additional appointments within the city’s GP practices.

This means people in Leeds can now access evening and weekend appointments with professionals including GPs, practice nurses and other healthcare professionals. The health professional that a person is most likely to see will be based on their healthcare need, this means that a GP might not be the most appropriate person to see them.

Feedback from local and national surveys shows that for some people getting an appointment with their GP practice can be difficult especially when juggling other commitments. This includes people who work full-time or those with other caring responsibilities.

Appointments at an evening or weekends will take place at one of the hub sites which means that some patients will have to travel to a different GP practice rather than their usual surgery. All patients will be advised where they need to be by their own GP practice either when they call for an appointment or do so online.

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.

“It’s worth noting that you will not necessarily be seen by a GP or practice nurse from your own practice however they will have full access to your medical records providing you’ve given your consent. 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.”

Jim Barwick, Chief Executive for Leeds GP Confederation, added: “We are committed to working with our local GP practices and the CCG to continue to look at options that further improve access to primary care GP services. We were among the first areas in the country to be able to offer extended access to all Leeds patients ahead of the national deadline. This builds on local experience in the city that has seen some GP practices offering weekend and evening appointments for a number of years. We want to use this as an opportunity to remind local people that people can use online options to book/cancel appointments as well as ordering repeat prescriptions – just ask your GP practice how you can do this.”

People are also being reminded to call NHS 111 if they need to be urgently seen by a GP, practice nurse or other healthcare professional. The trained advisor for NHS 111 will carry out a telephone assessment and, if needed, will book an appointment with an out-of-hours GP service.

More information on extended access to GP appointments can be found on the CCG’s website www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/services/extended-gp-appointments/. Information on opening hours and where people need to go for appointments on an evening or weekend can be found on GP practice websites.

ENDS

Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net