People living in the Greater Huddersfield CCG area will be able to visit a GP after work and on weekends under a new scheme being launched at the end of March 2018.
The CCG has awarded the contract for the new service to out-of-hours provider Local Care Direct working with My Health Huddersfield (MHH) Ltd, a federation of local GP practices. The service was developed following extensive engagement with local patients.
Appointments will be available between 6.30pm and 8.30pm each weekday and there will be additional slots available on weekends between 10.00am and 2.00pm. They will be a mixture of ‘pre-bookable’ and ‘on-the-day’ appointments and can be accessed through a patient’s own GP practice or by calling the free NHS 111 phone line out of normal working hours.
Having these additional appointments available will reduce pressure on both general practice and hospital emergency departments by allowing patients to visit a GP at a convenient time that fits better with their work and other commitments.
Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair or NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said:
“We know that some people find it difficult to get an appointment at their surgery, particularly those with work and other day-time commitments. This new service will improve access and ensure that people can get the right care at a time that suits them.”
Dr Yusuf Shamsee, MHH Director and the clinical lead for the extended access scheme, said:
“Huddersfield GPs have worked closely with Local Care Direct to provide patients with better access to GPs across Huddersfield seven days a week.
“This new service starts in late March and when designing the service we have listened carefully to patient opinion to include times of appointments and clinical roles.
“We are excited by the opportunity this provides to improve patient care and will be engaging with patients to further develop the service over the next 12 months”
The scheme starts on Saturday 31 March when evening and weekend appointments will be available for any Greater Huddersfield patient in the Primary Care Centre ‘hub’ at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. In addition, some local GP practices will also be offering evening and weekend appointments from 31 March, patients are asked to please check with their practice.