Additional appointments in the evening, early morning or at weekends
GP practices are now working together to offer more appointments in the evenings, early mornings or at weekends.
To date, support for extended access to GP services has been delivered by the GP Access Fund, with funding of £150 million awarded to 57 pilot schemes (including One Care), covering more than 2,500 practices and a population of over 18 million people. This is now being delivered via the NHS England ‘Improving access to general practice‘ initiative.
Practices in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are now offering more appointments to their patients outside of core hours (before 8am, after 6.30pm or at weekends). Practices are working together in ‘clusters’ to offer this service, which means that if there isn’t an appointment available at the patient’s registered practice, they may be offered an appointment at another surgery close by. A number of practices have been offering similar services supported by One Care since summer 2016.
Patients will be able to access a range of services via this initiative including appointments with GP, nurse or healthcare assistant, a rapid-access physiotherapy service and a social prescribing initiative.
Practices have signed local Data Sharing Agreements with One Care to enable clinicians working in this service to view the GP’s patient record. This is not linked to any national data sharing agreement and patients can opt out at any time by contacting their practice. One Care is committed to ensuring that personal data is protected and that all information is handled responsibly in order to maintain the highest levels of patient privacy and security.